The latest on 7 bodies discovered in eastern Oklahoma
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Seven people, five of them teenagers, were found dead at a home in rural eastern Oklahoma Monday. The community of Henryetta is trying to understand what happened. Elizabeth Caldwell from member station KWGS in Tulsa has more.
ELIZABETH CALDWELL, BYLINE: For people around Henryetta, it started with an Amber Alert. Two teenagers were missing in Okmulgee County and could be in danger. It got worse. Fourteen-year-old Ivy Webster and 16-year-old Brittany Brewer were found dead with five other people. Pastor Ryan Wells, who led a prayer vigil at Henryetta High School in the wake of the deaths, said the loss is unimaginable.
RYAN WELLS: It would be a tragedy. It was - it is a tragedy with one individual, but it is catastrophic when you have seven individuals - five - from what I understand, five students that are just from this school.
CALDWELL: Included in the Amber Alert were details about a 39-year-old man named Jesse McFadden. He was about to stand trial on child pornography charges. McFadden's body was also found on the property. A woman told the Associated Press her 35-year-old daughter, Holly Guess, was among the dead and so were her three grandchildren, 17-year-old Rylee, 15-year-old Michael and 13-year-old Tiffany. Records show Guess and McFadden had applied for a marriage license last year. Wells said the community is waiting for answers.
WELLS: You know, I think everything is just so raw at the moment and really, I think, still gathering information. There's still a lot to be uncovered, it sounds like.
CALDWELL: The Okmulgee sheriff's office was the first on the scene, but the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has stepped in too. McFadden was released from prison in 2020 after serving more than 15 years for rape. Gerald Davidson with the OSBI said he has no information on why a registered sex offender under suspicion for child pornography would be around minors.
GERALD DAVIDSON: OK, I cannot answer that question. I don't know anything about what you were just speaking of and, of course, that's - that would probably be the district attorney or someone else to answer that particular question, not me.
CALDWELL: The Okmulgee County district attorney didn't return a request for more information. Davidson said law enforcement is still piecing together exactly what happened.
DAVIDSON: Well, the next step is it's an ongoing investigation
CALDWELL: To cope with the tragedy and to deal with the details still to come, students at Henryetta High School will be able to seek counseling on campus. Officials say the medical examiner's report is expected soon and should have more information about just how the seven people died.
For NPR News, I'm Elizabeth Caldwell in Henryetta, Okla. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.