$10,000 Reward Renewed By OSBI In Carina Saunders Case

Friday, October 13th 2017, 10:48 pm
By: News 9

Six years ago, 19-year-old Carina Saunders' body was found in a duffle bag in a field near NW 23rd & Rockwell in Bethany. 

At this point, her family says they are "frustrated" that there's no on to answer for her murder. Sara Saunders, Carina's sister, pointed out all of the developments in the area.

"There's now a Cash Saver and a strip mall here," she said. "We can do all of these things but our law enforcement can’t come up with answers, can’t find these killers."

The Bethany Police Department initially investigated the murder, working it more than a year, before turning the case over to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. In an effort to make up lost time, OSBI agents, in 2013, dove right in, questioning potential witnesses, serving search warrants, and later digging for evidence.

In April 2017, OSBI agents excavated in the backyard of a northwest Oklahoma City home that was believed to be connected to the murder. According the search warrant return, a folding knife, shirt, windbreaker jacket, and slip-on sandals were recovered during the three-day dig.

"I really thought we were getting somewhere," Saunders said. "And now, six years later, we still really have no information."

More recently, the OSBI highlighted Carina Saunders's case in its Cold Case Playing Cards that were distributed to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The cards will be sold to prisoners and is the OSBI's latest approach to searching for leads in its cases. Prisoners often possess information on crimes committed by associates and others, according to a recent OSBI news release.

"We are just hoping someone comes forward," Saunders stepsister, Sara Lee, said, adding the family desperately needs some closure. "It is really frustrating... We are still really hurting."

Too hurt to talk about it, Carina Saunders' father, Richard, issued a statement, Friday:

As you all may know, Carina was taken from us 6 years ago. In saying this, her case was botched by one of the law enforcement agencies. Then, the OSBI took it over and we may not hear anything for a month at a time or longer, leaving us in the dark. It seems as though they, themselves, are just jumping through hoops and taking shots in the dark. That's why ever so often they come out with this $10,000 reward, with the hope that someone will do their jobs. I'm a concerned parent and friend to many. I pray that this may never happen to anyone in this great state, but still I do have my concerns. I implore you, whoever you may be, come forth and do the right thing to help us all, including yourselves. Just a reminder her killers are still out there somewhere watching, waiting to catch their next victim, please don't let it be your child.

The OSBI says it is following every lead that comes in. The agency announced, Tuesday, it is reinstating a $10,000 reward to the person(s) who provides information that helps substantially progress the case. The reward will only be offered for 90 days, per state law. Anyone with information is asked to contact the OSBI at 1-800-522-8017 or tips@osbi.ok.gov.