A teenage sleepover, a convicted rapist and seven bodies: What we know about Oklahoma tragedy

A teenage sleepover turned to tragedy when seven bodies were found at a rural Oklahama property on the day that a convicted rapist was scheduled to appear in court. Josh Marcus and Rachel Sharp report

Tuesday 02 May 2023 18:29 BST
Missing girls Brittany Brewer, 15, left, and Ivy Webster, 14, right, were found dead in Oklahoma in May 2023
Missing girls Brittany Brewer, 15, left, and Ivy Webster, 14, right, were found dead in Oklahoma in May 2023 (Brewer family / Webster family via Facebook)
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Two teenage girls were spending the weekend having a sleepover with a friend.

They planned to go swimming at a local ranch in Oklahoma.

But they were never seen alive again.

On Monday, their bodies were discovered among seven people found dead on a rural property near Henryetta.

Among the other bodies was that of a convicted rapist who was due to stand trial on child porn and solicitation charges that very day.

Here’s everything we know so far about the shocking case:

What happened?

On Monday morning, an Amber Alert was issued to find two missing teenagers – 14-year-old Ivy Webster and 15-year-old Brittany Brewer.

Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office said that Ivy had gone out with a friend to the McAlester area and was supposed to return home by 5pm on Sunday.

She failed to return home.

The two teens were last seen at around 1.30am on Monday travelling with Jesse McFadden – a convicted rapist who was on the state’s sex offender registry – in a white Chevrolet pickup.

Ivy’s mother told KJRH that her daughter’s cellphone tracking had been turned off and said it was unlike her daughter not to respond to messages or calls.

Ivy and Brittany had gone to the McFadden’s house for a sleepover with his teenage daughter over the weekend and had been planning to go swimming on a ranch in McAlester but never showed. She said she was unaware of the man’s criminal history.

Amber Alert was issued for the missing girls (Oklahoma Highway Patrol)

Brittany’s father, meanwhile, told KOTV that the girls had been to the man’s house many previous times without incident.

“I’ve known this family for a while and Brittany was a beautiful, smart and full of life 16 year old young lady,” Facebook user Cassandra Apperson wrote.

“She went out this weekend with her friends and was supposed to return home last night, and her father reported her missing and just a little while ago they found her and a few others deceased and the man responsible was also found deceased. If you could please share this or donate if you’re able.”

On Monday morning, McFadden, 39, also failed to show up for a court appearance.

Authorities went to McFadden’s property on the outskirts of Henryetta and found the bodies of seven people.

The bodies were found “not in the residence, but just on the property,” said Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Gerald Davidson.

Who are the seven people found dead?

While the bodies are yet to be officially identified, Okmulgee County Sheriff Eddy Rice said the bodies were believed to include those McFadden and the two missing girls Ivy and Brittany.

“We believe that we have found the persons,” he said.

“We are no longer looking. We believe to have found everything that we were seeking this morning. Our hearts go out to the families and friends, schoolmates and everyone else.”

The missing endangered person advisory was canceled on Monday afternoon by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

On Tuesday, a relative of the other four victims revealed their identities. Janette Mayo, 59, told the Associated Press that the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office notified her about the deaths of her daughter, Holly Guess, 35, and her grandchildren, Rylee Elizabeth Allen, 17, Michael James Mayo, 15, and Tiffany Dore Guess, 13.

In a Facebook post, Ms Mayo said that her daughter was married to McFadden. Authorities have not confirmed a cause of death for the seven victims, but Ms Mayo said they were shot at various locations across McFadden’s property.

“My daughter loved her children and yes she married the man who killed them but she was fooled by his charm,” Ms Mayo wrote. “I hurt just like the other families but he took my world from me. My grandchildren and my daughter. I have a hole in my heart ...”

Ms Mayo described Ivy as a “sweet girl,” and said she didn’t have the chance to meet Brittany.

“I really didn’t know Brittany but she must have been a sweet girl for my Tiffany to care for her,” the grieving grandmother wrote. “My prayers are there for both of the other families. I just ask that people remember my family as well, and that they had names too.”

Judy White-Allen, the grandmother of victims Rylee and Michael, also confirmed their deaths to The Independent on Tuesday.

“All I can tell you is my kids are hurting,” she said. “My son lost his daughter and son. My other kids lost their niece and nephew. My other grand kids lost their cousins. Rylee and Michael have four other siblings that will never know them.

“Holly was a great mother. She had a big heart.”

Brittany’s father Nathan Brewer told KOTV that his daughter was about to appear in an upcoming pageant.

Missing girls Brittany Brewer, 15, left, and Ivy Webster, 14, right, were found dead in Oklahoma in May 2023 (Brewer family / Webster family via Facebook)

“Brittany was an outgoing person,” he said.

“She actually was selected to be Miss Henryetta in [an upcoming] pageant in Tulsa, and now she ain’t gonna make it because she’ dead. She’s gone.”

At a vigil held on Monday night, he said his daughter had dreams of being a teacher or a veterinarian.

“It’s just a parent’s worst nightmare, and I’m living it,” he said. “I am just lost.”

Who is Jesse McFadden?

McFadden is a convicted rapist who was scheduled to appear in court on new charges on the day that the bodies were found.

According to Oklahoma prison records, McFadden was sent to prison in 2003 for first-degree rape, and served nearly 16 years before being released in 2020.

Jesse McFadden (KOTV-DT)

On Monday, he was due to stand trial on charges of soliciting sexual conduct with a minor and possession of child pornography.

The charges were filed back in 2017 when he was still in prison for his rape conviction.

While behind bars, he allegedly exchanges nude photos and videos with an underage girl from behind bars.

When he failed to appear in court on Monday, police began searching for him.

What comes next in the investigation?

Okmulgee County Sheriff Eddy Rice said on Monday that while he was still waiting for the identities of the bodies to be confirmed, “we believe we have found everything that we were seeking this morning”.

How can we support the victims of the Oklahoma disappearance?

A GoFundMe page in memory of Brittany Brewer has been set up to assist with funeral expenses.

“This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult times they will ever experience and they need to be focused on their healing instead of worrying about how they are going to pay for Brittany’s funeral,” a message alongside the fundraiser reads.

School pays tribute to ‘several students’ killed

Henryetta Public Schools released a statement saying that it is “grieving over the tragedy of the loss of several of our students”.

“Our hearts are hurting, and we have considered what would be best for our students in the coming days,” the school system said.

Classes will still take place but mental health services are available to students.

“We understand if you feel it is more appropriate to keep your student at home. Please continue to keep these families in your thoughts and prayers.

Is this disappearance related to other crimes in the area?

Police have not yet described any explicit link between the deaths and a 14 October incident in the area, in which the bodies of four men were found in the Deep Fork River.

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