4th Suspect Arrested in Connection with Murder of Elderly Kansas Couple Buried in Crawford Co.


VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA) — Van Buren police have arrested a fourth person in connection with the killing of an elderly Kansas couple who were buried in a shallow grave.

Christine Marie Tenney, 37, of Santa Fe, Texas, was arrested Thursday afternoon.
Tenney is accused of abuse of a corpse, felony theft by receiving, tampering with physical evidence and obstruction of governmental operations. She was booked into the Crawford County Detention Center.

Three arrests were previously made in connection with the murder of Alfred “Sonny” and Pauline Carpenter. 

Michael Fowler, 54, confessed to shooting and with accomplices dumping the bodies of the Carpenters. This information was revealed in a probable cause affidavit.

The Van Buren Police Department previously said that Tenney claimed to have been kidnapped by the other suspects and taken to Van Buren.

Police initially believed the couple who kidnapped Tenney also murdered the Carpenters in Great Bends, Kan. Tenney was since developed as an accomplice.

Officers were informed that the couple was staying at the Vista Hills Apartments. The officers said they made contact with Tenney, Fowler, Rusty Fraiser, 35, and Kimberly Younger, 52. 

The officers said they located a one-ton pickup with a camper, which was registered to Alfred and Pauline Carpenter. 

The Carpenters were not located at the scene, and they were reported missing out of Wichita, Kan., by their daughter. 

Fowler, Fraiser and Younger, all of whom have been identified as carnival workers, were taken into police custody. Authorities believe the couple was killed Friday after meeting the carnival workers at the Barton County Fair.

Fowler admitted to shooting and killing the Carpenters in Great Bends. He also said Fraiser and a woman he referred to as “Khan” were with him when he shot the couple. Police have since identified Khan as Kimberly Younger.

Fowler said they located the couple’s truck, loaded their bodies into it and drove to Van Buren. Two days after arriving in Van Buren, the trio, along with Tenney and a person identified as Scott Spencer drove to a secluded area on Starr Road off State Highway 59 and dumped the bodies and covered them with the bedding out of the camper and also rocks and limbs.

Officers said they were able to locate the Rugar 9mm that Fowler used to kill the couple. 

Fraiser and Younger also admitted to taking the couple to Van Buren after the couple was murdered in Kansas and dumping the bodies on Starr Road. 

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