On September 25, 2013, Norman Police conducted a welfare check at Ridgecrest Court, in Norman, Oklahoma. Friends from Owachige (27) were concerned as they had not been able to reach her.
Owachige was a descendant of Chief Osceola of the Native American Seminole tribe of Florida. She was recently divorced and mother of a young daughter. The pair had moved from Anadarko to Norman (OK) to make a fresh start. At the time of Owachige’s murder, the child was staying with her father. I have not read that he was eliminated as a suspect.
Detective Ryan Bruehl and partner from the Norman Police Department arrived at Ridgecrest Court. Owachige’s friends from Anadarko, an hour’s drive from Norman, met police there. They told them what they knew. No contact with Owachige, a strange FB message, and upon arrival, they saw that her door had been kicked open. Were all the Anadarko friends eliminated as suspects? And shoe prints on the door?
Det. Bruehl and partner went inside. “It just looked like that bedroom was a little bit disheveled, most of the bedding was off on the floor,” Bruehl said. “To me it looked like a disturbance had taken place in that bedroom.” I wonder about the rest of the apartment. Were there any other disturbances, items stolen, signs of forced entry, etc.
They found Owachige in an upstairs bedroom. Her body was already partially decomposed and showed signs off trauma on the upper torso. A blanket was placed over her body. I wonder if she had any materials underneath her fingernails or in her mouth. Did that blanket come from her house?
Misleading SM Message
Owachige’s friends got worried after not hearing from her and seeing a message on Facebook that they didn’t understand: “Moose is tryna KM.” As worrying as this message is, ‘Moose is trying to kill me‘ and Owachige did know someone called Moose, this person has been eliminated as a suspect. Solid alibi.
So, how was this message left? How did they gain access to Owachige’s social media? Did they have login information? That could mean the killer is familiar to Owachige and may know their way around the house to find password information. Or, they used her mobile phone, desktop, or laptop and the FB account was open.
There might be touch DNA on any of these devices and by contacting Owachige’s provider, we might be able to find out at what time that message was left. This could give us a better idea of when Owachige died. And, if the message was posted via a cell phone or laptop after the killer left her apartment, we could get a last know location.
Det. Parks believes that message was written to confuse. It could also have been left to possibly implicate Moose. So, whoever killed Owachige had some knowledge of her friends and might have a connection to Moose.
When she was found, Owachige’s body was already badly decomposed. The cause of death could not be determined so the medical examiner ruled Osceola’s death undetermined. That brings me to the blanket.
The first person who found Owachige Elice Osceola, so not the Anadarko friends or the cops, could have found her dead and placed a blanket over her. Their touch DNA would then be on the blanket which might stop them from coming forward. They might be afraid to get charged with murder. So, it might be good to emphasize that just because your DNA is found, that doesn’t mean that you are guilty of murder. Authorities would still need to make the case against you e.g. tying you to the crime scene and the victim by proving means, motive, and opportunity.
The person responsible for Owachige’s death could have placed the blanket over her. Not out of grief or decency but to speed up the process of decomposition. That doesn’t prove intent to kill but definitely to conceal.
If we still have the bedding, especially that blanket, or any of Owachige’s clothes that she was wearing when she died, they must be examined for touch DNA with the M-Vac. I have not read anything about the clothes Owachige was wearing though.
According to this article, there is DNA. The exact quote is “DNA samples collected on other initial suspects have weeded the suspect pool down to one.” Where the DNA was found, is understandable held back information.
The family of Owachige Elice Osceola, in partnership with Norman Crime Stoppers, offer a $40,000 cash reward for new information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for her death. If you have any information please call Norman Crime Stoppers at 405-366-STOP. Tips can also be submitted directly to Detective Jim Parks with the Norman Police Department’s Cold Case Unit at 405-366-5208.
In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis and of course, more information can be found online and in newspaper archives.
We need to get these cases back in the mainstream media, to get people talking again, and if anything, to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are unsolved does not mean that we can forget about them.
I encourage you to share this post on your own social media platforms. By sharing these posts, the cases reach new networks, new connections, and new news feeds. Maybe one day these updates will pop up in the right person’s news feed. This may be someone who can actually help advance the case and that is my goal.
Rest in peace, Owachige Elice Osceola.