Bodies found in Oklahoma are those of missing local man, woman

Two bodies were found Tuesday on a property in rural Oklahoma in the search for Jenna Scott her...
Two bodies were found Tuesday on a property in rural Oklahoma in the search for Jenna Scott her friend Michael Swearingin, who have been missing since Jan. 4. (Family photos/KOTV photo)(KWTX)
Published: Jan. 14, 2019 at 4:33 PM CST
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The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office Thursday confirmed that two bodies recovered Tuesday in rural Okfusee County, Okla., are those of Jenna Scott, 28, and her friend Michael Swearingin, 32.

Information about the cause of their deaths wasn't released.

Police earlier said they believed the bodies were those of the missing friends.

Scott and Swearingin, 32, were last heard from at 3 a.m. on Jan. 4.

The remains were recovered from a clandestine grave after Oklahoma investigators went to the property at the request of Temple police, who are investigating the disappearance of the two Temple residents.

“Investigative information led investigators to rural Okfuskee County, where a homicide investigation is underway,” the OSBI said in a press release Tuesday.

“The identity of the victim(s) and cause(s) and manner(s) of death will be determined at autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” the bureau said.

“The OSBI continues to assist Temple Police Department in this active investigation.”

Texas Rangers were in Oklahoma, assisting with the investigation.

Cedric Marks, 44, whom police identified as Scott’s ex-boyfriend, was arrested on Jan. 8 in Kent County, Mich., on the Temple burglary warrant.

He remains in custody there pending his transfer back to Bell County.

Scott filed for and was granted a temporary protective order against Marks in July 2018.

The order barred Marks from communicating or having any contact with Scott and also barred him from possessing a firearm.

But on Sept. 17, 2018, after a hearing on Aug. 15, 2018, Bell Country State District Judge Paul LePak issued a ruling denying Scott’s motion to make the temporary order permanent.

The burglary warrant on which Marks was arrested stems from an incident on Aug. 21, 2018, six days after the Aug. 15 hearing on the protective order, in which Scott found Marks in her house after an alarm sounded.

Scott told officers she had her phone in her hand, but said Marks took it and “threw it out of reach,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Scott “yelled for her daughter to call 911,” the affidavit says, and the girl did place the call.

“Officers collected information from 911 dispatch, and it confirmed that (the girl’s) phone made a 911 call on August 21 2018 that was dropped,” the affidavit says.

Temple police have not identified Marks as a suspect or person of interest in their investigation of the disappearance of Scott and Swearingin.

But police in Bloomington, Minn., say he will be looked at in connection with the March 17, 2009 disappearance of another former girlfriend, April Pease.

“We will be reopening the case of April Pease and we’ll be looking at Marks,” Bloomington police Sgt. Jeff Ratzloff told KWTX Tuesday.

Records show that Pease and Marks had been in a bitter child custody dispute for months before she disappeared.

Court records obtained by KWTX show Pease, who was from Washington State, had a child with Marks.

She fled to Bloomington for her safety according to court statements, but was dealing with a long term drug problem.

When she failed to show up for a court appearance on the child custody issue on March 20, 2009, three days after she disappeared, Marks wrote in a statement to the judge, "She's probably relapsed into drug activity."

Marks was awarded custody of the child.

Pease has never been found.

Marks' name came up in the investigation of the disappearance, but at the time he wasn't considered a suspect, police said.

Pease’s mother, Dottie Pease, made an impassioned to police Wednesday to bring her daughter home.

"I still hold out hope that April can be found and brought home. I'd like some closure like the Texas families have received."

"I certainly know what the Swearingin and Scott families went through these past two weeks,” she said.

The now 13-year-old who was at the center of the child custody fight between Marks and Pease had been living with Marks in Texas until recently and “is somewhere in Michigan right now,” Pease said.

“I'd like to find him and see him," Pease said.

Marks won’t fight his return to the state after his arrest in Michigan on an outstanding local burglary warrant.

Marks waived extradition, Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said Monday, and “will be returned to Bell County in the immediate future.”

“The investigation by the Temple Police Department and other authorities into the search for Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin is active, fluid and continues,” Garza said.

“Marks has terrorized and hurt our family for several years now. We are not surprised that he may be involved in the disappearance of a former girlfriend in Minnesota," Scott’s father, Jonathan Scott, said Tuesday.

"This was so unnecessary," he said.

"My daughter had all the information they needed to stop this and it was provided in the hearing for the protective order."

Anyone with information is asked to call (254) 298-5500.

(KWTX)—Services have been scheduled for Michael Swearingin, 32, and Jenna Scott, 28, of Temple, whose bodies were found Tuesday in graves in rural Oklahoma.

A celebration of life service will be held for Jenna Scott at 2 p.m. on Jan. 25 at Vista Community Church at 7051 Stonehollow in Temple.

A funeral service will be held for Michael Swearingin at 2 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 26 at the First Baptist Church in Little River-Academy.

Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan 25 at Hewett-Arney Funeral Home at 14 West Barton Ave. in Temple.