Body of Missing Pregnant Woman Found Buried in Wildlife Refuge

Police found the body of a missing pregnant woman Friday buried in a wildlife refuge after an anonymous tip led them to her location.

The body of Lauren Barnes, 20, of Bethany, Okla., was found buried in a heavily wooded area within the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.

"She was buried about 3-feet deep and covered up in debris and leaves and dirt," Bethany Police Chief Neal Troutman said at a news conference. "So it wasn't very visible. It would have been hard to find."

There didn't appear to be any trauma to the woman's face or body, and investigators didn't think a weapon was involved in her death, Troutman said.

The young woman, who was five months pregnant, hadn't been seen since Nov. 23, when she told her family she was going to meet the father of her baby.

Earlier this week, police arrested Eric Phan, 20, on a first-degree murder complaint in connection with Barnes' disappearance. He remained in the Oklahoma County jail.

"It's not up to me, probably, to decide as to if we're going to file two counts of murder on him based on the fact that she was five months pregnant," Troutman said.

Officials found Barnes' car locked at a local park on Sunday and spent much of the week searching with volunteers for the woman. The search didn't turn up Barnes, but a local prayer group did discover the body of a dead middle-aged woman near Lake Overholser.

By midweek, officials acknowledged they were looking for a body in the Barnes case.

"Our ultimate goal was to find Lauren and we found Lauren," Troutman said. "We're hoping that maybe that will bring some closure to the family and our hearts and prayers go out to the family."

Phan was arrested at his lawyer's office on Wednesday night.

The death has shocked the small community of Bethany.

"It's just sickening and disheartening and sad that somebody would even think like that," Troutman said of the murder. "A sad thing about it is, is it's kind of a trend across America it seems like."