New Search Warrant Request For DNA In Oklahoma 1997 Cold Case

Thursday, January 15th 2015, 7:17 pm
By: News 9

Thursday morning, one of the lead investigators on the 1997 disappearance of 9-year-old Amber Barker filed a search warrant, requesting DNA samples from an Oklahoma inmate.

And that inmate could have information that's vital to the case.

For years, the missing person posters with Amber's school picture have haunted those who knew and loved her, as well as those trying to find clues in her case.

“It seems like she would have got a hold of us by now,” said Amber's mother Bonnie Barker, wo spoke with News 9 about the case back in 2008. She died last year.

Amber was last seen on December 18th, 1997, leaving a friend's house near NW 45th and Drexel.

She was on her bicycle, and even called her mom saying she was on her way home. But she was never heard from again.

On December 19th,1997, police found Amber's bicycle in Denniston Park, a mile from her home.

On December 20th, 1997, they found her sweater, shoes, and a ring lying along NW 15th St.

Court papers state DNA lab techs were able to locate what appeared to be vomit on the sweater and initial testing indicated there was possible ejaculate in the vomit too. But at that time, they could not extract a DNA profile because the technology did not exist.

But tests done 15 years later revealed a partial male DNA profile.

Both police and the family suspected Daniel Smith, Amber's brother-in-law, knew something about her disappearance, but he committed suicide.

“Yeah I definitely think he's responsible,” said Bonnie Barker during that 2008 interview. “I believe there's somebody else involved besides him that knows something.”

That's why Oklahoma City police requested DNA samples from Forrest Jay Rice.

Rice admitted to police that Smith was at his apartment the night Amber disappeared, and was with him that day. He also admitted he was with Smith the day he committed suicide.

Rice, who also goes by the name of Steven Brent Henley, has a long criminal history. He is currently an inmate in the Oklahoma City Community Corrections Center.