Worker Who Discovered Annie Hill's Remains Speaks Out
GOLDSBY, Oklahoma - After more than a year of searching for missing Piedmont teenager Annie Hill, 16, investigators say they have recovered some of her remains.
Hill disappeared from Edmond in April 2014, after telling her mother she was going to a friend's house.
Investigators feared Hill had been killed and her body dumped in a rural area. Search crews covered thousands of heavily wooded acres looking for Hill's remains but her whereabouts were unknown until Thursday.
A break in the case came when a Texas-based seismography crew working in the area of Highway 74 and Ladd Road stumbled upon a human skull.
Alex Garcia said he was shocked to make the discovery.
"I walk through fields every day and stuff like that, so I was kind of surprised when I saw that," Garcia said.
Garcia said, in that moment, he had a horrible feeling he'd just discovered the remains of a child.
"I stopped everything and I backed up a little bit and then I looked up close," Garcia said after authorities were called to the scene.
Investigators with the McClain County Sheriff's Office, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and Oklahoma City Police set up a search area around the 320-acre field between Goldsby and Washington.
Within hours, authorities identified the remains as Annie Hill, the 16-year-old who had been missing for more than a year.
"They knew it was going to happen," Darcie Parton -Scoon, a private investigator with Center for Search and Investigations, a non-profit assisting victim's families said the Hill family had been trying to prepare themselves mentally for such a discovery," we weren't surprised, it was just when it was going to happen and how."
Overcome with grief, Hill's family said, "While we still have a long road ahead of us in ensuring that Annie gets justice, we are glad that we will no longer wonder where she might be."
The family also said to date, we are incapable of making plans concerning vigils or memorial service," [we] are still addressing the emotions that we feel over the discovery of where Annie was hidden for so many months,"
Meanwhile, investigators are conducting grid-by-grid searches for any other remains or evidence.
Such evidence could be used to bolster the prosecutor's case against Chloe Thomas.
Thomas was expected to appear for a preliminary hearing on a first degree murder charge, Friday morning, but the hearing was continued in light of recent discovery.
Thomas is now awaiting her trial on a first degree murder charge.
Her attorney, Michael Trevino says he is hopeful new evidence will prove Thomas gave an honest confession last year.
"You have two co-defendants who are saying opposite things, we are hoping there is evidence that will show my client is the one telling the truth," said Trevino.
Trevino also explained Thomas told investigators her co-defendant Chadd Raymond choked Hill to death and that she only helped dispose of Hill's body.
However, Prosecutors made a plea deal with Raymond in February 2015. In exchange for his testimony against Thomas, he was sentenced to serve 35 years of a life sentence.
Thomas is due back in court in June.