Dying For Answers


Investigator's Notebook

Someone savagely killed 19-year-old Carina Saunders, and people are literally dying to find out who committed the murder.

The mystery began October 13, 2011, with the gruesome discovery of Carina’s youthful body -- dismembered and discarded in bags in an obscure field in Bethany, Okla.

For more than a decade, investigators have chased leads to no end. Suspects have come and gone, and people who asked too many questions met tragic ends. So why, then are we digging into this dangerous case?

Because the truth needs to be revealed.

I’m Lisa Monahan, an investigative journalist and state-licensed private investigator. I’ve covered crime my entire career, and no case has intrigued, frustrated, and haunted me as this one has.

The killer or killers were so inconceivably cruel that I feel compelled to find answers -- for Carina’s family, and for my own peace of mind. Who would commit such a heinous crime, and why?! What was the motive? And perhaps most concerning: is the killer walking among us?

In this special presentation, 'Dying for Answers,' photojournalist Mike Weber and I immerse ourselves in a dark underworld to find new witnesses, uncover hidden evidence, and expose what happened to Carina Saunders -- all in an effort to bring justice and peace to her family.

They have suffered for years and deserve answers.

But answers don’t come without cost in this agonizing mystery. Still, we must ask: who killed Carina and why?

Lisa Signature
Who was Carina Saunders?

Carina Brianne Saunders was born on July 17, 1992, to Margie Queen and Richard Saunders in Oklahoma City. Saunders’ parents say she was a happy baby, a precocious little girl, and a curious teenager.

From a very young age, Carina was considered a free spirit. Carina made friends effortlessly but chose to graduate early from high school to gain her independence. Before graduating from Mustang High School in 2010, Carina won spelling bees, mathlete competitions, and even a spot in the honor choir. Carina had a remarkable voice and dreamt of performing in the opera. If that didn’t work out, she’d pursue a career as an accountant.

She seemed to have accounted for everything – other than a drug addiction.

It was shortly after Carina moved out on her own that she began experimenting with drugs. Carina’s parents repeatedly tried to intervene in her newfound lifestyle, but it only made Carina more reclusive. Although she made several attempts at sobriety, the parents believe that it was ultimately Carina’s connection to OKC’s drug trade that led to her demise.

Case Files

SUV Forensic Investigation

The Locations

504 Oakdale Excavation

suspect sketch

In October 2020, the OSBI released this composite sketch of a man who was seen in the area of Northwest 23rd Street and Rockwell Avenue around the time Carina Saunders’ body was found. Investigators would like to speak with him for more information.

If you - or anyone you know - has information on this case, please contact the OSBI.

Tips can be called in to 1-800-522-8017 or emailed to tips@osbi.ok.gov

Fill out my online form.

Carina Saunders Special

The Victim

carina sanders

Carina Saunders

Carina Brianne Saunders was more than a “body in a duffel bag.” She was a beautiful 19-year-old with big dreams, according to her parents. Carina was born on July 17, 1992, and almost immediately discovered her unique ability to bring smiles to the faces of her loved ones. Her parents say that she was a happy baby, a precocious little girl, and a curious teenager.

The Family

Margie Queen

Margie Queen

Carina's Mother

“I hold onto that experience in my darkest days.”

Margie Queen is often reminded of the last day she spent with her daughter. They attended church together (a rare occurrence for Carina after moving away from home) within weeks of Carina's disappearance. During the visit, Margie says Carina…

Richard Saunders

Richard Saunders

Carina’s father

“If I could have one more day with her then I wouldn’t say anything…I’d just hold her.”

Richard Saunders refuses to give up on justice for his daughter. Carina was his first born and the two shared a unique friendship. Richards says Carina knew to call him if she was ever in trouble and he would be there for her. He says that he got the call …

Kathryn Jo Bloodworth

Kathryn Jo Bloodworth

Carina’s Cousin

“Carina was my very first best friend.”

Kathryn and Carina were close, more like sisters than cousins. Kathryn and Carina were close, more like sisters than cousins. In fact, Carina had been staying with her for about a week before making a final post to Facebook. Carina posted the question on…

The Initial Suspects

Jimmy Massey

Jimmy Massey

“I am not a monster, I am not a kidnapper, I am not a murderer.” Jimmy Lee Massey, also known as “Big Country,” is on a personal quest for vindication in the murder of 19-year-old Carina Saunders. Massey submitted to a polygraph test and met with Carina’s parents in hopes of clearing his name.

Luis Ruiz

Luis Ruiz

“They [Bethany Police Detectives] manipulated known drug addicts, falsified law enforcement reports… and coerced a confession.” Luis Ruiz was charged, along with Jimmy Massey, for the murder of Carina Saunders in 2012. Ruiz was implicated by a woman who claimed that she was with Carina…

Kenny Richards

Kenny Richards

Kenny Richards is a person of interest in the murder of Carina Saunders, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Saunders was last seen by her cousin getting into Richard’s SUV at a Taco Bell near I-40 and Rockwell on September 28, 2011. At the time, Carina was 19-years-old…

Law Enforcement

Special Agent Meghan Bowman

Special Agent Meghan Bowman


“This is not going away… I’m not going away.” OSBI Special Agent Meghan Bowman is the lead agent on the Carina Saunders’ murder investigation. Bowman is one of…

Chief Phil Cole

Chief Phil Cole

Bethany Police

“I will think about this case every day of my life and every day I say a prayer that the killers will be brought to justice.” For 30 years, Chief Phil Cole has served as a peace officer in Bethany.

David Prater DA

David Prater

Oklahoma Co. DA

“I am hopeful that someday we will find the killer so that the family of Carina Saunders will have answers as to how and why she was killed. If there is ever a credible case on a suspect, …

Eric Pfeifer, MD

Eric Pfeifer, MD

Chief Medical Examiner

“I will never forget this case.” Dr. Pfeifer was new to Oklahoma and the state medical examiner’s office when Carina Saunders’ body turned up in bags. He did not personally perform …

The Polygraph Examiners

Kyle Franks

Kyle Franks

Polygraph Examiner

“There is one person in the world that you cannot lie to and that is yourself.” Kyle Franks is the owner and operator of Accurate Solutions Incorporated, which provides professional polygraph…

David Otwell

David Otwell

Polygraph Examiner

“The analysis of all five charts revealed Mr. Massey showed NO DECEPTION INDICATED” David Otwell is a certified polygraph examiner licensed in the State of Oklahoma and is an active member of …

Oklahoma's Own Original Special


Carina Saunders,19, of Mustang, disappeared in 2011. She was missing for two weeks before her dismembered body was found in a pair of bags behind a grocery store near Northwest 23rd Street and Rockwell Avenue in Bethany.

The murder investigation, plagued with twists and turns, remains unsolved 9 years later.

Warning:Due to the graphic nature of the crime some of the following content may be considered disturbing.