KINTA — The mother of a woman missing in northern Latimer County since late 2009 said she believes a religious cult is responsible for the disappearance and now presumed deaths of her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.
Three bodies were recovered over the weekend near Kinta, roughly three miles from where a truck belonging to Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison was found abandoned in October 2009.
Authorities have said the remains appear to be those of two adults and a child, fueling speculation that the Jamisons and their 6-year-old daughter, Madyson, finally have been found.
Law enforcement and volunteers launched a massive search after the family's disappearance but turned up nothing.
Sitting in her apartment Tuesday afternoon in northwest Oklahoma City, Connie Kokotan discounted “wild” theories about the disappearance of the Jamisons — even those publicly discussed by law enforcement officials.
“Just like I've said from the very beginning, I think somebody killed them,” Kokotan said. “There's just no way that Bobby and Sherilyn would ever let anything happen to Madyson unless something had been done to them.”
Kokotan, 63, said that Sherilyn Jamison was on a “hit list” maintained by an unnamed religious cult operating in southeast Oklahoma.
Nothing about the Jamisons' case has been typical.
After the family's disappearance, it was revealed — by their pastor — that the Jamisons were engaged in spiritual warfare with ghosts living at their Eufaula lake house.
Reports at the time also describe a large storage container found at the lake house, that spoke of witchcraft and impending danger for the family.
Shortly before his family disappeared, Bobby Jamison had told his pastor he was reading a “satanic bible” and that he was seeking “special bullets” to do battle with spirits.
“That part of Oklahoma is known for that ... cults and stuff like that ... from what I've been told and from what I've read,” Kokotan said.
“I was told (around the time of Sherilyn's disappearance) ... that she was on a cult's hit list.”
While Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation officials have said that nothing was found at the scene to help identify the three bodies found over the weekend, Kokotan said an OSBI agent told her that a child's shoe was found nearby.
“I asked them what it looked like, what color is was,” she said. “Madyson's favorite color was pink. She always wore pink.”
Kokotan also revealed the fate of the family dog, Maizy, who was found in the Jamison's pickup after their disappearance. The dog, trapped in the cab of the truck for eight days, was barely alive and had survived by eating its own feces.
“Maizy survived,” Kokotan said. “She lives with Bobby's mom now. Madyson loved that dog so much.”
As for the $32,000 in cash found in the family's pickup, Kokotan said she has no idea where it came from. She said Bobby Jamison recently had been in a serious car accident — which left him unable to work — but that she wasn't aware of any settlement.
Rumors of Sherilyn Jamison's weight loss in the months leading up to her disappearance also are easily explained, Kokotan said.
She said her daughter was depressed at the time of her death because of the loss of her sister, Marla, Kokotan's middle child.
Sherilyn Jamison's little sister died in 2007 after her tongue was bitten by a bee, causing her throat to swell almost instantly.
“Sherilyn was still dealing with that (when she disappeared),” Kokotan said. “She had a history of depression. It was something she was dealing with for years.”
Kokotan also dismissed rumors that Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison were drug users or that either one of them suffered from “dangerous” mental health conditions.
“I never saw anything like that,” she said. “Sherilyn was depressed. She was looking for ways to fight through that, but I never saw any evidence they were using drugs of any kind.”
A husband, wife and their daughter found the remains many believe belong to the Jamisons on Saturday while scouting the area for possible deer hunting.
The area, part of the San Bois Mountains, is rugged and densely wooded in some areas. The couple and their daughter had been in the area more than four years ago looking for land to purchase.
The remains found over the weekend now are being examined by experts working for the state medical examiner's office, including an anthropologist and odontologist.
Amy Elliott, spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office, said the agency will try and use dental records to identify the three bodies found. If that doesn't work, Elliott said DNA will be taken from the remains and checked against DNA of presumed relatives.
Latimer County Sheriff Jesse James said an incident report detailing his agency's involvement in the recovery of the three sets of remains over the weekend was still not ready on Tuesday afternoon.
Kokotan said she's hopeful the discovery of the bodies will help solve what she believes is a triple homicide.
“I think (law enforcement) knows more than they're saying, they've implied that over the years,” she said.
“And I hope those remains are (the Jamisons). I know that sounds strange, but I need closure. All the people who've been affected by this need closure.”
Staff Writers Bryan Dean, Graham Lee Brewer
and Robert Medley