WEATHERFORD — After a yearlong police investigation, roadside billboards and a family's public pleas for help, investigators Tuesday found human remains that are likely those of the missing girl and arrested a man on a murder accusation.
The Oklahoma attorney general's office said the remains found in a remote area near Weatherford are believed to be those of JaRay Wilson, 16, who was last seen Oct. 15, 2012.
A source told The Oklahoman she was shot in the head before her body was discarded and that her death is possibly drug-related.
Information from the multicounty grand jury unit led to the grisly discovery.
Authorities arrested Tucker Ryan McGee, 19, of Weatherford, on a murder complaint.
Mark Woodward, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, said McGee was questioned and placed in the Custer County jail.
Woodward said more arrests are possible. The state medical examiner's office will try to make a positive identification and determine a cause of death.
Woodward said that Tuesday morning agents went to an area about “60 or 70 yards off a county road” near Weatherford.
“One of our agents was just walking around the area when he saw a skull on the ground,” Woodward said. “At that point, they just backed up and called OSBI (the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation).”
Tucker pleaded guilty to drug charges in Custer County in March, drawing unsupervised probation. He does not have prior arrests for violent crimes, records show.
“It is the second cold case homicide that the multicounty grand jury unit has helped resolve within the past year to help bring closure to victims' families,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.
The grand jury unit also helped resolve the death of 26-year-old Heath Reams, of Yale.
Reams disappeared July 26, 2003.
Amanda Sanders-Bolstad, 32, of Jennings, was charged in September 2012 in connection with Reams' murder.
When Wilson first went missing, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that investigators had information that the Weatherford girl was either being held against her will or had been sold into human trafficking in Oklahoma City.
Investigators questioned felon Gilbert Paz in connection with Wilson's disappearance shortly after the teen was reported missing.
Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples told The Oklahoman in October 2012 that Paz was questioned because “his name kept coming up” during interviews with Wilson's friends and acquaintances.
Peoples said there was speculation among those same sources that Wilson may have been a victim of human trafficking. Investigators were unable to link Paz to the girl's disappearance.
Paz has been arrested several times in Oklahoma since 2003, including on two weapons charges.
Missing girl's mom told little about find
The missing girl's mother, Jara Wilson, said authorities have told her little about the remains that were found Tuesday morning. She said the possibility that drugs were somehow involved in the case wasn't something she had heard before.
“They called us this morning and said some information had led them out here and there was a possibility of (the remains) being JaRay's,” Jara Wilson said on Tuesday afternoon. “They want to have a good case that sticks ... so they really haven't told us anything else right now.”
Staff Writer Nolan Clay