OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma woman was charged Friday in the 1992 deaths of her grandson's mother, another woman and a 6-year-old girl whose bodies were found buried last year in a hole that had been dug for a septic tank.
Beverly Noe was ordered held without bond after being charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 23-year-old Wendy Camp, Camp's 6-year-old daughter Cynthia Britto and Camp's 22-year-old sister-in-law Lisa Kregear.
Investigators allege that Noe, 67, of the central Oklahoma town of Bristow, killed Camp because she feared Camp would take her young grandson Jonathon Noe away from her. Noe wanted custody of the boy, according to the probable cause affidavit.
"Beverly had always wanted, and tried to get, custody of Jonathon," special agent Marty Wilson of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation wrote in the affidavit. He added that Noe had told her ex-husband that she thought Camp would interfere.
Court documents didn't list an attorney for Noe on Friday.
Camp had been married to Noe's son, Chad Noe. She, her daughter and sister-in-law had traveled from her home in Oklahoma City on May 29, 1992, to visit young Jonathon who was with his dad in Shamrock. Beverly Noe was to give Camp and the others a ride home.
After the three disappeared, she acknowledged being the last person to see them alive. She told investigators she dropped them off at a Wal-Mart in Chandler after getting into a fight with Camp.
Then last spring, investigators received a tip from Beverly Noe's brother, Grover Prewitt, which led them to the bodies of the women and girl. The three had been buried in a hole on land Prewitt used to own near the small town of Terlton.
Beverly Noe later told The Associated Press she didn't know how the three could have been found on the property 21 years after their disappearance.
"I figure somebody picked them up, but I don't have a clue who," Noe said then. "I don't know how they got back to his property. I would wonder how they got there. I really don't know how they got there. It is odd. I'd agree to that."
Prewitt told investigators he had dug the hole for a septic tank after his mother, Ida Prewitt, bought five of his 40 acres and moved a trailer onto the property. He said his mother then suddenly told him to fill the hole.
"Grover asked her why, to which Ida responded, 'Because there's a couple of dead bodies in there,'" Wilson, the special agent, wrote.
Grover Prewitt said he didn't ask questions and had a backhoe operator close the hole. He told investigators he later sprinkled the ground with black pepper at his mother's request to cover up any odor. Ida Prewitt died in 2011.
Besides leading authorities to the hole, he also gave them a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun, which family members called "Baby," according to the affidavit.
Autopsies showed Camp and her sister-in-law were shot. Camp also was stabbed. The 6-year-old girl died of "unspecified means."
Investigators say Grover Prewitt talked to his sister, Beverly Noe, about giving authorities the shotgun and his .357-caliber revolver. He was wearing a wire at the time.
A week later, Noe approached her brother at a casino in Bristow and asked where "Baby" was, according to the affidavit.
"Beverly told him she was not sure whether the shotgun was used or not, but she thought it might have been used one time," Wilson wrote in the affidavit.
He added: "Beverly told him, 'You don't have to worry about the .357 because I used (someone else's) .357, and they cannot tie it to me.' Grover was certain Beverly said, 'I'm the one that used the .357.'"
Grover Prewitt was charged last year with being an accessory after the fact.
Kissel reported from Little Rock, Ark.
Follow Eaton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kristieaton and Kissel at http://twitter.com/kisselAP .