A Love County Sheriff has been arrested three years after a teen and another young man disappeared.
Molly Miller was last seen riding in a 2012 Honda Accord with James Conn Nipp, 21, and Colt Haynes, 21, as Conn lead the police on a chase on July 3, 2013. Conn drove widely while Molly and Colt threw rocks at police cars. They ended up over the county line into Love County with with the police still chasing them until they lost them on Long Hollow Road.
Around 12:47 a.m., Molly dialed 911 but didn’t say anything. The dispatcher called her back but she didn’t answer. Colt also made a phone call to his friends and told them he was lying in a creek bed with a broken ankle and coughing up blood near Long Hollow Road. Molly made another phone call for someone to come get her in a field. Although friends showed up searching for them, Colt nor Molly were ever found. Molly’s phone pinged off a tower between Pike and Long Hollow Rd.
In January 2014 Conn was arrested. He stated he did not know where Colt nor Molly were. He was convicted for the endangering others during the chase by the police.
Molly’s parents found many inconsistency’s with what the sheriff department told them regarding Molly’s disappearance. They tried for years to get a straight story but were unsuccessful. Then last Tuesday, Sheriff Marion “Joe” Russell of the Love County Sheriff’s Office was arrested by the FBI, and the grand jury has filed removal proceedings against him after he was charged with two counts of corruption and two counts of habitual or willful neglect of duty, and willful maladministration related to the car chase. Conn, it turns out, is Sheriff Russell’s cousin.
Not only did he allow family members to meet with Conn alone when he was under arrest, Conn was never investigated for the disappearance of Molly nor Colt, according to the Daily Beast, even though he was the last one to see them. According to Molly’s parents Sheriff Russell did not allow them to file a missing person’s report, because he stated it was not his “problem.” After Sheriff Russell’s arrest, the FBI stated that Sheriff Russell’s son, George “Willie” Russell, 38, had been selling meth and using his father’s police truck to transport it. Willie in Nov. 2015, was the subject of a federal investigation.
Also, Sheriff Russell allegedly harbored fugitive Sara Bamburg, who was dating his son and was alleged to maintain a dwelling house where persons kept methamphetamine, reports KXII news.
The Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury filed an accusation for removal from office against Sheriff Russell. He was let out on his own recognizance and has returned to work, awaiting for his hearing.