McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 19, 2012

New evidence emerges in Narconon Arrowhead deaths' investigation

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — An attorney for the families of two people found dead at Narconon Arrowhead says he’s found items listed on an autopsy report that should be part of the investigation including a "pillow with a substance on it. It would be my thought that the investigators would be chasing down these items,” said Tulsa Attorney Gary Richardson.

Richardson, a former United States Attorney and a former Tulsa District Attorney, said he’s representing the families of Stacy Dawn Murphy and Gabriel Graves.

Narconon Arrowhead is a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Canadian with affiliated with the Church of Scientology that has been under investigation since the July 19th death of Murphy, 20, of Owasso. 

Since her death, the investigation has expanded to include three other deaths; Hillary Holten, 21 of Carr who was found dead at Narconon Arrowhead in April, and Graves, 32, who died at the facility in October along with the 2009 death of Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28, according to Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns.
Richardson said while looking into the Narconon death cases he’s found disturbing information including some possible evidence listed on the  state medical examiner’s report.
 He said the two items listed on the ME report were handed to Grave’s mother by the funeral home director. “She still has them in storage,” Richardson said. 
“This needs to be part of the investigation.”
Friday afternoon Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns, said he was sending his investigator to collect the pillow and another item.
 “We are working closely with DA’s office and they asked us today to get the items.” He said the items weren’t collected at the time because they weren’t pertinent to the investigation.
Richardson said he’s also interviewed several former students of  Narconon Arrowhead. 
“ I’m finding the stories they tell to be extremely disturbing and very similar,” Richardson said.
Also on Friday, District 18 District Attorney Richard Hull said Friday that before deciding on criminal charges, the DA’s office is waiting on a final report from the Pittsburg County Sheriffs Department, the toxicological and autopsy reports and reports from other state agencies  also looking into the case.
 “It could still be several weeks before we get all of the results of the investigation,” he said.
Richardson said he will be filing the wrongful death lawsuits within the next few weeks in Pittsburg County Court.
Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.