Man held in Carina Saunders case

A man already jailed on drug charges is being held in connection with the death and dismemberment of Carina Saunders, 19.
By BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: December 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm •  Published: December 20, 2011

— A witness told investigators she was forced to watch as Carina Saunders was tortured and killed and was told the same thing would happen to her if she did not cooperate with a prostitution ring.

Jimmy Lee Massey, 33, already in the Oklahoma County jail on drug complaints, is now also being held on a murder complaint in the case of Saunders, 19, whose dismembered body was found Oct. 13 in a duffle bag behind the Homeland grocery store at NW 23 and Rockwell.

According to an arrest affidavit, the witness was forced into a car on the evening of Oct. 9 and taken blindfolded to a room where she was forced to watch as Saunders was tortured and killed. The woman, who was not identified in court documents, said she was told that would happen to her if she and her friends did not help the killers with their human trafficking ring.

Bethany Police Chief Phil Cole said Tuesday the case involves a drug trafficking ring and a prostitution ring that were linked.

“(Saunders) had relationships among this loosely associated group of people, and we believe she was a target of opportunity,” Cole said. “We don't believe the witness and Carina knew each other, however we believe Carina's murderer was sending a message that she wasn't cooperating with this organization in a way she was expected to.”

Cole said he hopes this is the first of several arrests in the case.

“There is a lot of work left,” he said. “Additionally, we are seeking a person of interest. We believe he has critical information that will help us in our investigation.”


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