Alleged Killer’s Son Directs Police to Missing Stepmother’s Body.
The last time anyone saw Carol Grannon was on a March day in 1999, when she left her northeastern Oklahoma home to run errands. She disappeared without a trace.
Now, more than a decade later, police say the missing woman’s stepson has finally led authorities to what they believe is her body — and said he witnessed his father killing her.
"We are 99.9 percent certain," Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Joe Hughart told AOL News. "We have a confession from the son and the father."Hughart said police got a break in the cold case on Wednesday night following a drug bust at a Muskogee motel, where several people were taken into custody. One of those arrested was 27-year-old Josh Grannon.
Jailed on a drug charge, Grannon told police he wanted to talk about something “special,” Hughart said.
"I think it was his conscience," Hughart said. "I guess he had this bottled up for 12 years and he was ready to talk and let it out."Grannon allegedly told police that when he was 15 years old he had witnessed his father, Jeffrey Grannon, kill his missing stepmother, Carol Grannon. Afterward, Josh said, he helped his father dispose of her body.
Carol Grannon, a 37-year-old mother of four, was last seen alive on the afternoon of March 15, 1999. She had visited with her daughter at a local Burger King restaurant and then left with her husband to visit his mother at her house on Turner Street in Muskogee. Jeffrey Grannon later told police his wife had left there to go shopping at a Walmart and never returned.
Carol Grannon’s car, a gray Toyota Corolla, was not found until about three months later, abandoned in the parking lot of the Department of Human Services office in Muskogee.
According to media reports from the time, Carol had worked for Muskogee General Hospital as a laboratory technician. She and her husband reportedly met in September 1998 and married in January 1999. Family members told local media outlets they did not believe she left of her own accord and that they suspected foul play in her disappearance.
"[Jeffrey Grannon] had been a person of interest since day one," Hughart said. "He refused polygraph tests along the way and would taunt officers [to arrest him]."
Investigators conducted multiple searches for Carol Grannon over the years. They looked in ponds and dug up mounds of earth and concrete, but never found any sign of her. All that changed, however, once her stepson was in custody on an unrelated case.
On Thursday morning, Josh Grannon led authorities to an alleyway behind his grandmother’s home and directed them to a manhole that was covering an old, unused sewer drain, police said. When the officers peered inside, they saw a mound of concrete.
"They had been pouring sacks of concrete [down the hole] throughout the years," Hughart said. "One of the officers got down there and there was a cavity that had built up inside it, kind of like a bubble. The officer stepped and it kind of collapsed, and we could see inside there [were] human bones."
While authorities were examining the hole, they noticed that Jeffrey Grannon, 56, kept walking up and down the street, watching them work. At one point, he even approached the officers, Hughart said.
"They were looking in the manhole [and he was] walking around out there asking them what they needed and could he help them," Hughart said, adding, "He’s a real arrogant man."
Shortly thereafter, authorities received approval to take Grannon into custody.
"The officer called him over and stuck his hand out. When he went to grab his hand to shake it, the officer greeted him with a pair of handcuffs," Hughart said.
Once he was taken to police headquarters, Jeffrey Grannon allegedly confessed to killing his wife by strangling her with a zip tie. During a brief court hearing today, Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore said he expected to file a first-degree murder charge on Monday. Jeffrey Grannon was ordered held without bond.
Josh Grannon remains jailed on the drug charges. Because he allegedly helped his father dispose of his stepmother, additional charges may be filed, police said.
Forensic specialists and a team of archaeologists began the tedious task of carefully removing the remains on Thursday. That work continued this morning and is nearly complete.”They are just about finished digging with the back hoe, so they are going to start bringing her out as safely [and] as peacefully as they can,” Hughart said. “The medical examiner will have possession of the body and will probably take it to Tulsa” for examination and positive identification.
According to Hughart, family members have been notified. Grannon’s ex-husband and father of two of her children, Eddie Walker, is an investigator at the sheriff’s office. He has spent years working on the case in an effort to provide his children with answers about their mother’s fate.
"The family is getting some closure," Hughart said. "I know it is a sad day for them, but that has got to be awesome to get some closure with this."