TULSA, Okla. – Over the weekend New Mexico police arrested two people they believed kidnapped and killed an Oklahoma woman more than 15 years ago. As it turns out, police suspect they were hiding out in New Mexico for most of the time.
“They’re in jail and I know they’re thinking about what they did,” Sheila Owen said.
Owen’s daughter Latricia Fipps was 31 when she disappeared out of Oklahoma back in 2002. She was last seen leaving her job with her ex-boyfriend Joe Calvert, 66.
“We knew all along and I’ve always said he killed her,” Owen said.
So did police, who say he did it with help from his girlfriend Shanna Ramsey, 37.
“We think Calvert is the one who killed Fipps, and Ramsey was complicit in hiding the body and they lived their life in New Mexico ever since,” Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker said.
For 15 years detectives in Oklahoma and New Mexico kept an eye on the couple, and built a case even without a body.
“Even though we knew where they were, they didn’t know we were looking at them that hard,” Sgt. Walker said.
Over the weekend, the pair was pulled over by police near San Ysidro. It’s not clear why police pulled the couple over. They were arrested and charged in Oklahoma with Fipps’ murder.
“I know that she’s not ever coming home now,” Anna Wilson, Fipps’ sister, said. “But yet, I’m so glad. I wish I could have been in New Mexico.”
Now Owen hopes detectives’ next step will be to find where they buried her daughter.
“Even if there isn’t much left…I don’t care if I get just one bone, I would know that it’s hers,” Owen said. “Please, just let me have her back.”
Police believe the two buried the body somewhere in New Mexico, but it’s not clear where. Prosecutors in Oklahoma have already filed the paperwork to have the two extradited.