A newlywed, who disappeared about a month after she tied the knot, was found dead under a pile of clothes in the back of her damaged, abandoned car, police said.
Cassidy Ritchie, 39, had not been seen since Jan. 20, and police officially said she was a “missing and endangered person” five days later in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
For over a week, her children led searches with community volunteers. The hopeful rescue efforts ended with the grim finding in the back of her car, which had “extensive off-road debris,” Tulsa police said on Sunday.
Her new husband, Chris Morland, is being questioned as a “person of interest,” but police said he’s not talking. He’s being held on outstanding warrants out of Texas.
“Our mother has been found,” Joey David, Richie’s oldest son, said in a Facebook post Sunday. “Unfortunately, she is no longer with us. We cannot say anything more as it is an ongoing investigation.
“Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their day yesterday to help search for her. Thank you to all the friends, family, and strangers who came out, and thank you to everyone who has kept us in your thoughts and prayers. Please give my family and I privacy as we deal with the grieving process.”
Tulsa police narrowed down Ritchie’s disappearance to a narrow window between Jan. 21 to 23, which is when Morland showed up alone at the couple’s Tulsa home, Fox 23 reported.
The case is officially classified as a homicide, according to the Tulsa police, which said Ritchie was “involved in prior domestic violence incidents” but didn’t elaborate.
Ritchie’s family learned after her death that Tulsa police responded to domestic violence incidents during law enforcement’s missing person investigation.
But their relationship was described by Ritchie’s family as “tumultuous,” Fox 23 reported.
Before Ritchie was found, Tulsa Police Lt. Brandon Watkins told the local news outlet that Morland is “obviously someone who could help us, but so far we’re not getting the answers we need.”
Morland is in custody and being held on outstanding Texas warrants in a separate case.
A tip on Tulsa police’s Facebook page led investigators to Ritchie’s car about 10 miles from a local bar called “I Don’t Care Bar and Grill” in Catoosa, Oklahoma.
Lt. Watkins told Fox 23 News that the car was damaged and covered with dirt and grass.
“They went off road somewhere with the car being parked out there on Highway 412 that far east. We’re guessing it’s somewhere between the casino and the I Don’t Care Bar and Grill out that way.”
Tulsa police didn’t immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for more information about the prior domestic violence incidents, Morland’s criminal history and if law enforcement expects him to be charged in Ritchie’s “suspicious” death.
Anyone with information is asked to call Tulsa Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS. You can remain anonymous when calling.