Missing woman's truck pulled from river

Monday, July 21st 2008, 3:12 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

CHICKASHA, Okla. -- A pickup truck with a body inside was pulled from muddy waters in Grady County, Monday. Police do not know the identity of the person inside, but it may solve the mystery of a woman's disappearance nearly a year ago.

Last July, Joann Stephens left her Chickasha home in her Chevy pickup and told neighbors she was going to look for a job.

The vehicle she left in was the one pulled from the Washita River.

Just before noon a group of teenagers spotted wheels sticking up out of the river. Police were quickly notified.

"We arranged for a wrecker to come out from Johnson's Wrecker and get the vehicle up," Sheriff Kiernan McMullen with the Grady County Sheriff's Office said. "When we got the vehicle up part way, we were able to get the tag number."

That tag number confirmed the vehicle belonged to Stephens.

A closer look uncovered a body inside the truck, potentially breaking a case that consumed police for 12 months.

"We've went as far as calling OHP dive teams," Asst. Chief Elip Moore with the Chickasha Police Department said. "We've checked with several local lakes, ponds. They've probably been about eight or nine different searches that we've conducted to try and locate the vehicle."

The medical examiner arrived on scene, but the office has not confirmed the body is Stephens'.