day for mourning
is Cranes; suspects charged
have recovered Laura Lee Cranes body and two suspects
have now been charged with capital murder.
FORT WORTH A body discovered Tuesday in southern
Oklahoma was identified as that of missing retired professor
Laura Lee Crane, police said Wednesday afternoon. Two
Fort Worth residents linked to her disappearance have
been charged with capital murder, police said.
Crane, 77, had been missing since Friday when she went
on an errand to the Tom Thumb grocery store at 3050 S.
Hulen and was kidnapped by Fort Worth residents Edward
Busby, 31, and Kathleen Latimer, 39, said Lt. Abdul Pridgen,
a Fort Worth police spokesman. Police say the former education
professor and Starpoint School director died of asphyxiation
after abductors wrapped duct tape around her face. Crane
also had blunt force trauma to the head, police said.
Police arent sure of the time and place of her death.
Pridgen said the body was found after Busby confessed
Tuesday and led Fort Worth and Oklahoma City detectives
to the site, which was near the 51 mile marker on a northbound
service road of Interstate 35 near Davis, Okla. She was
found wrapped in a white sheet and duct tape was still
on her face, police said.
Pridgen said Crane had been abducted from the parking
lot. The motive appeared to be robbery, said Lt. Roger
Dixon of the Fort Worth police.
Dixon declined to comment about the condition of the scene
where the body was found, but said police have several
leads they have yet to pursue. He wouldnt comment
when asked if Latimer had also confessed.
Dixon said decisions regarding extradition and the location
of prosecution are still pending. Allen Walker, Cranes
daughter, thanked the police, FBI, citizens from Texas
and Oklahoma and friends in a written statement for their
efforts to bring our mother home.
She said Cranes students were her life and each
of them now has their own special guardian angel.
We will now put our faith in the judicial system
to see that the perpetrators of this horrendous crime
are brought to justice, she said.
In a released statement, Provost William Koehler said
the university is saddened by the tragic death of
Laura Lee Crane.
Mrs. Crane had a profound impact upon the lives
of many children and families through her work at TCUs
Starpoint School, Koehler said. She was a
well-respected administrator and educator and made major
contributions to both Starpoint and TCUs School
of Education. She will be missed tremendously.
Dixon said the break in the case came when an Oklahoma
City patrol officer pulled over the Cranes Nissan
Sentra for a suspected illegal right turn early Sunday
Busby was being held in the Oklahoma County jail for suspicion
of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, driving with a
suspended license and making an improper right turn, police
said. Latimer was being held on suspicion of possession
of a controlled substance after a former felony conviction,
possession of drug paraphernalia and unauthorized use
of a motor vehicle, police said.
Pridgen said the shopping center where the kidnapping
occurred is a safe area to the best of the police departments
knowledge. To our knowledge, this crime was random,
Walker, daughter of retired professor Laura Lee
Crane, thanked the community and law enforcement
officials for their support in the search for her
mother at a press conference held Wednesday afternoon
at the Fort Worth police station downtown. A body
found near Davis, Okla., was identified as that
of the former Starpoint School director.