On October 13, 2011 the body of a young woman was found hacked up and shoved into a black Nike duffle bag as well as a laundry bag and placed behind a Bethany, Oklahoma grocery store. According to her autopsy report she had been completely dismembered with her hands and feet missing. There was evidence of duct tape having been wrapped around her thighs, as well as evidence that the perpetrators attempted to cut off her tattoo in order to conceal her identity. It is not clear whether she was dismembered before or after her death.
Using her dental records, investigators were able to positively identify the young woman’s remains as 19-year-old Carina Saunders. Investigators used this information to quickly build a case. It was believed that Saunders may have been involved in a human trafficking ring and her grisly murder may have been to intimidate witnesses and to force the women to cooperate with the ring’s demands.
The following year two men were arrested. Jimmy Massey and Luis Ruiz, who were both suspected to be heavily involved in the drug trade, were brought in after a female witness claimed she had witnessed both Massey and Ruiz torture Saunders to death.
According to the witness, the two men had Saunders strapped to a table. They cut off Saunders’ left foot with a hacksaw and attempted to cut off her right foot until the saw broke. The woman claimed that she jumped out of the window in order to escape the ordeal.
A second witness came forward and claimed she had viewed a video on Ruiz’s phone of him torturing and murdering Carina Saunders. She also claimed that she had recognized Ruiz as the person who had been seen sawing off Saunders’ left foot.
Police were unable to obtain this video. Both men had their murder charges dismissed without prejudice due to a lack of evidence. Ruiz was able to walk free, while Massey was held on unrelated drug charges.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has since taken over the Saunders murder case, but no arrests have been made. Any information on the case can be forwarded to their tipline at 1-800-522-8017 or by email Tips@osbi.ok.gov