Remains are possible match
July 9, 2009
Alice Campbell Havre Daily News [email protected]
Remains delivered to a state medical examiner's office in Oregon match the description of a missing 11-yearold Oklahoma girl, Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo said Wednesday. "There is a body in those containers consistent with your victim based on her size and the age of her bones and the medical condition that was reported that she had everything is consistent with the little girl," Trumbo said. He declined to specify what medical condition Cheyenne had. The remains, found Saturday in a storage unit in Milton-Freewater, Ore., area, were taken to Portland, Ore., for analysis to determine if they are indeed Cheyenne Wolf. Abel Travis Wolf, 35, and Denise Ann Wolf, 40, were arrested last Thursday in Hill County on warrants claiming the couple buried Cheyenne after her death in April 2008 and then dug up and moved her body several times over the course of the following year. A complete autopsy was not performed Wednesday, and additional information from the medical examiner's office was not available this morning before press. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Public Information Officer Jessica Brown this morning said that, to her knowledge, no identity has been verified for the remains and won't be until medical and dental records are obtained and used. According to signed affidavits from two people, the couple moved to Havre in August, bringing Cheyenne's remains with them in two large platic containers. When another of the couple's children ran away and was hospitalized, they became worried the whereabouts of Cheyenne's body Would become known and moved her to Denise's brothers, Edward Davis', house in Milton-Freewater, Ore. Soon after, Davis rented a storage unit in the area at Denise's request, Trumbo said. "He may or may not have known that there was a body in those units," Trumbo said, adding, "if he knew previously ... criminal charges can be brought against him." It is unclear what Davis' involvement was, Trumbo continued. "I will say this, he's been very cooperative." Several days ago, the Ardmore, Okla., Police Department received a report from family members that Cheyenne was missing, after the family members grew concerned that no contact had been made with the girl since the family began a string of moves, Brown said. The Ardmore police referred the case to the Bryan County Sheriff's Office, which alerted the OSBI, Brown said. The affidavits say the remains are Cheyenne's, and "it's possible that one of her siblings actually beat her to death," Brown said. Based on a signed affidavit from reports by Davis and his daughter Tricia J. Wells of Alvarado, Texas, Cheyenne's sister beat her before Denise found Cheyenne's body. "Davis ... informed your affiant that when Denise Wolf lived in Oklahoma on one occasion she went into the house and found (Cheyenne's sister) kicking and stomping Cheyenne Wolf in the bedroom. Cheyenne Wolf was already dead," according to the affidavit. Dahl said the couple's other children were placed with child protective services before the arrest. "It was my understanding that the Wolfs voluntarily placed them ... ," she said. Jon Ebelt, public information officer for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, declined to comment, citing confidentiality and protection of the children. Abel and Denise face charges of unlawful removal of a body once they are extradited to Oklahoma, a process that has already been started, Hill County Attorney Gina Dahl said. The couple were initially picked up on charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, Dahl said. "We're not going to pursue the tampering charge." However, "we have filed a fugitive complaint already to start the extradition process" back to Oklahoma, she said Tuesday. The couple may waive their right to an extradition hearing at their initial appearance in State District Court this afternoon, and that would speed up how soon they return to Oklahoma, although no timetable is certain, Dahl said. It is not known yet if the couple have been assigned an attorney through the Public Defender's Office to represent them during the extradition hearing process. It is unclear why the couple, who were arrested at their residence southwest of Havre, near the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, moved to Havre. They are being held at the detention center without bail.