OKEMAH, Okla. (AP) — The bodies of a pair of friends who had been the subject of search parties near their central Texas homes were found in shallow graves in rural Oklahoma, according to law enforcement authorities.
A statement released by the Temple Police Department says a preliminary investigation indicates the bodies are those of Jenna Scott, 28, and Michael Swearingin, 32, who have been missing since Jan. 4. Police said their families have been notified.
“The family is hurting very, very much,” Swearingen’s mother, Deborah Harrison, told Temple television station KCEN.
Scott’s brother, Talon Scott, said the two friends had left together to hang out with some other friends and never returned. Jenna Scott was absent from her daughter’s birthday party Sunday, he said.
“She didn’t show up. She planned the party,” Talon Scott said. The car the two were in was found later in Austin, about 68 miles (109 kilometers) southwest of Temple.
Family members had been searching Bell County, Texas, for Scott and Swearingin.
The bodies were recovered Tuesday from clandestine graves in Okfuskee County, about 75 miles (121 kilometers) east of Oklahoma City. Investigators received information Jan. 9 that led them to property in a remote area where the bodies were discovered.
The Office of the State Medical Examiner in Oklahoma will make positive identification after autopsies, authorities said.
Meanwhile, Scott’s ex-boyfriend, Cedric Marks, 44 is scheduled to be extradited to Texas from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he is being held on a felony burglary warrant issued by authorities in Temple.
Marks is accused of breaking into Scott’s home and threatening her and her family in August, according to an arrest affidavit. Marks has not been named as a suspect in the disappearances of Scott and Swearingen.