Just before midnight Sept. 18, 2010, Justin and Christina Neidel's home caught fire.
The Tuttle couple fled and told police they had surprised a group of masked Hispanic men who were burglarizing their $200,000 home.
The Neidels said the men handcuffed them to a set of dining room chairs but that they were able to free themselves and escape.
By the time firefighters arrived to the isolated subdivision, the Neidels' home was nearly completely lost to the flames.
The Neidels were not injured, and their children were staying with grandparents at the time.
Investigators determined the fire was started intentionally on the home's second floor.
Judah Sheppard, an investigator with the state fire marshal's office, turned his case over to Grady County prosecutors several weeks ago.
Sheppard won't reveal any suspects in the case, but he said that “it's going to be big when it all goes down.”
“I'm just waiting on the DA's office,” he said. “They just keep telling me they'll get back to me.”
2011 ended without answers to a number of questions in this and other high-profile murder, fire and missing persons cases in Oklahoma.
Bill Dwayne Shipley withdrew several thousand dollars from his bank account in July as he prepared to leave for Arkansas to paint an Arby's restaurant.
Shipley never made it to the job, and the last time anybody reported seeing him was July 19.
Because his work involved frequent trips out of state — some times for weeks at a time — Shipley wasn't reported missing until Aug. 20.
A busy self-employed contractor, the missing Goldsby man was described by investigators as a savvy businessman who never missed an appointment and always did the job right.
Shortly after the missing person report was filed, police found one of Shipley's trucks in south Oklahoma City, abandoned in an apartment complex parking lot. Another truck remains missing.
Investigators have an unidentified person of interest in the case — a stocky white man in his 50s or 60s — caught on video surveillance using Shipley's credit cards at several metro-area businesses.
But nearly six months since Shipley was last seen, the case has come to a standstill.
Intense winds and dry conditions turned a fire that began just south of NE 50 and Sooner Road on Aug. 30 into what fire officials called one of the biggest fires in Oklahoma City since the 1980s.
The winds sent the fire northbound, where it burned and destroyed more than two dozen homes.
The fire, which ranged from Sooner Road to Midwest Boulevard and from NE 50 to Britton Road, burned well into the next day.
Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant said the massive grass fire highlighted a growing problem in metro areas.
Homes far from any fire hydrants or other water sources — common as more people move from subdivisions onto acreages — were burned because trees, brush and high grass serve as kindling on a hot, dry summer day.
What caused the grass fire remains unclear.
In the blaze's aftermath, authorities said another fire — started by someone using a weed trimmer — had been contained earlier, but it was unlikely that one had started back up.
Marc Woodard, the department's deputy fire chief, said arson investigators still are looking into the blaze.
“We don't have a cause yet,” Woodard said.
A family of three who told their minister they were struggling with demons and spirits haunting their lakeside home vanished in October 2009 in the Sans Bois Mountain range in southeastern Oklahoma.
Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison, of Eufaula, and their daughter, Madyson, 6, were seen last Oct. 9 while looking for a piece of land that was for sale in the isolated area, according to a local resident.
Eight days later, the family's pickup was found abandoned at a well site northwest of Red Oak.
The couple and Madyson were gone, but the family dog was locked in the truck, clinging to life.
According to police, the keys were in the ignition, and there were no signs of a struggle.
Items found in the truck included a cellphone, a GPS unit, clothing and about $32,000 in cash underneath the driver's seat.
Authorities launched a massive search for the missing family.
Israel Beauchamp, former sheriff of Latimer County, told The Oklahoman in May 2010 that his department had received help from the FBI, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and private investigators.
“What happened to them after that is a mystery,” he said.
“Will we ever find them? I sure hope so.”
Connie Kokotan, Sherilyn Jamison's mother, had a more definitive theory.
“I think someone killed them,” Kokotan told The Oklahoman in 2010.
“And they're still up there.”
On Nov. 2, 2010, a woman's badly beaten body was found inside a closet inside the northwest Oklahoma City home she shared with her husband and child.
Julie Mitchell, 34, was found by her stepson. Her 13-month-old daughter was found unharmed next to her body in a pool of blood.
Documents show that Mitchell's body was found about 10:30 p.m. inside the master bedroom. The state medical examiner concluded that she died of blunt force trauma to the head. An autopsy report showed she had four front teeth missing, a broken rib, a shattered skull and 25 large cuts to her scalp.
Mitchell also suffered a broken nose and jaw in the attack that ended her life, the report shows.
Her husband, Teddy Mitchell, was traveling to California when the body was discovered.
Teddy Mitchell, who police have implicated in illegal gambling activities, was called to give testimony before a multicounty grand jury.
The man's sons and others were called, as well, but no indictments have been handed down.