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July 9, 2013

Officials search for remains of Pittsburg County woman

McALESTER —

Officials searched Tuesday for the remains of a Pittsburg County woman in a dump site near her Dow home.
Barbara Ann Durant, 54, has been listed in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center as and endangered person since she was reported missing a year ago today.
“We have been actively trying to find her since she went missing,” said Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns.
On Tuesday, Tommy Lyons, an investigator with the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office, said he received leads recently that indicated her remains could be found in a dumping area near Dow.
Lyons said he called in a Crime Scene Archaeology Recovery Group soon after receiving the information.
Leading the search were recovery group members Kent Buehler, an archeologist with the University of Oklahoma; osteologist Angela Berg of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner; osteologist Kimberly Bowen, and volunteers Micheal Shay and Elizabeth Williamson.
Osteology is the study of bones; archeology is the study of historic or prehistoric people and their cultures.
“We’ll be here as long as it takes,” Buehler said.
Lyons said he’s been working on the case since Durant, who was well known in the area, went missing.
“What we are looking at recent reports of a body dumped in this area,” Lyons said.
“This is just three miles from her home.”
Lyons and the recovery group spent hours digging through piles of trash and animal bones searching for Durant’s remains.
“We are going to stay here until we find her bones, her remains or find out if it was just a vicious rumor,” Lyons said.
Durant was last seen July 7, 2012, with a man with whom she was reportedly living. She is described as white with red hair and brown eyes, 5-feet 2-inches tall and weighing 140 pounds.
“We still have other leads that we are investigating,” Kerns said.
Anyone with information about Durant can contact the sheriff’s department at 918-423-5858. Kerns said tips can also be sent anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 866-970-8477 or texted to 274637 with TIPS4U as the first word of the text. Web tips can also be given at www.tip2.us. 
Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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From left, Ward 6 McAlester City Councilor Jason Barnett, Ward 5 Councilor Buddy Garvin and Ward 4 Councilor Robert Karr are shown during the city council’s Tuesday night, April 22, 2014, meeting at City Hall. City councilors passed a measure to pay a Texas company to take over operations and management of the city’s water treatment plant, with Barnett and Garvin casting the sole “no” votes.

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