A CLOSER LOOK: Angela Mack-Cox and her son killed; bodies destroyed in a furnace, Sheriff says

A Closer Look

Mom & son missing since fall of 2002

Angela Mack-Cox & Thomas Michael “Mikey” Rettew.

FULTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — There are no winners in the case of missing Angela Mack-Cox and her four-year-old son, Thomas Michael “Mikey” Rettew.

Sometime in late 2002 or early 2003, the mom and son were killed. Their bodies were placed in a furnace and destroyed, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) statement.

Angela Mack-Cox and son Michael “Mikey” Thomas Rettew. Missing since fall of 2002.

Fulton County Sheriff Al Roork said, “Investigator Dale Weaver started eight months ago … spent hundreds of hours on this case and the investigation spanned from California to Virginia … the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department spent thousands of dollars on this case and I’m glad that we were able to close this case as of April 7, 2021.

On Friday, April 9, the FCSO issued a release outlining the chain of events that led to solving what happened to Angela Mack-Cox and her four-year-old son Thomas Michael “Mikey” Rettew.

2002 MISSING MOM & SON INVESTIGATION TIMELINE

SEPT. 1, 2002: Tommy Rettew, the father of four-year-old Thomas Michael “Mikey” Rettew, gave a missing person report to then-Salem Police Chief Albert Roork.

AUG. 18, 2020: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) contacted FCSO Investigator Dale Weaver about a message received regarding the missing child and his mom, Angela Mack-Cox.

AUG. 18-28, 2020: Weaver interviewed Angela’s friends and family. He learned that Angela married James Cox on April 10, 2002. May 29, 2002, Angela and James were involved in an accident where fatalities happened. The newlyweds were briefly hospitalized as a result of the accident. James told Weaver that his brother, Jeremy Cox, picked up Angela and Mikey and took them to Alton, Missouri. During the drive, Jeremy was stopped in Alton and arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle. Two weeks later, James received a phone call from Angela, who was in California, and wanted to return “home.” That was the last time James spoke to his wife.

JEREMY COX: He picked up Angela, took her to visit her mom in Batesville, later went to Thayer, Missouri, and picked up Dale Krusen. The trio went to Dale’s brother’s farm to get cattle to sell in Ash Flat. Dale’s brother’s name is Clarence. They [Jeremy, Angela, Dale] left the farm. Jeremy is pulled over by authorities in Alton and taken to jail for being in possession of a stolen vehicle. Angela and Dale were taken to the jail and waited for someone to pick them up. Jeremy told Weaver he later heard that Angela sold Mikey to the Krusens. That he knew Dale but did not know Clarence very well.

RUMORS: Weaver learned that Mikey had been seen several times by different people with Clarence and Barbara Krusen who lived in the Alton area.

MAY 25, 2004: Poteau Oklahoma Police Department received a missing person report about Angela that was filed by her mother, Lorna Pool. The last time Pool saw Angela was in September or October 2002. Pool stated the last time they had contact was December 11, 2002, that Angela was in Chowchilla, California, and was going to be leaving Chowchilla to pick up Mikey from Clarence in Alton. A week later, Pool called Chowchilla to talk with her daughter but was told she had left. Pool called Clarence. He told Pool that Jeremy Cox picked up Angela and Mikey and that he and his wife would be adopting Mikey, with Angela’s permission. But, later Pool found out that Jeremy could not have picked up Angela because he was in jail at the time.

CLARENCE/BARBARA KRUSEN: In 2004 or 2005, Clarence and Barbara moved (back) to Virginia. Missouri State Police/ATF indicted Clarence for firearms violations and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. He served eight years, paroled out in Texas, and was shot to death on February 17, 2012, in Laredo, Texas by William Henry Johnson.

OCT. 2020: Weaver contacted Barbara Krusen. She told Weaver that she met Angela in the fall of 2002 while Angela was working for Clarence on their farm. Later, Angela brought Mikey to their house and they kept him for a while, and they made adoption arrangements. Barbara stated that documents were signed by all three parties. Angela then headed to Chowchilla, California, and worked at a Burger King. Angela changed her mind about the adoption. Both Barbara and Clarence were not pleased and told her to come back and pick up the child. The Krusen’s twice sent money for Angela to return. On the second time of receiving funds, Angela returned to Springfield, Missouri. Barbara told Weaver she met Angela at the Springfield bus stop, the following day they returned to the farm, met Clarence and Mikey there, and stayed in for the evening. The next morning, Barbara said Angela and Mikey were gone. Clarence told her [Barbara] that someone came and picked them up. But, she didn’t hear any vehicle come or go from the residence that night or the next morning.

“I believed that Barbara Krusen was the key to knowing exactly what happened to them” – Investigator Weaver.

(L-R). Thomas Michael “Mikey” Rettew (DOB 7/7/98), Angela Mack-Cox (DOB 3/16/82), Matthew Niederbrach (DOB 2/96) her second son. Matthew’s father is Salem, Arkansas, resident Jeremy Niederbrach.

POLYGRAPH: Weaver asked the Virginia FBI to polygraph Barbara Krusen at her hometown. The FBI agreed.

APRIL 2, 2021: FBI out of the Norfolk office did a pre-polygraph interview with Barbara, and an exam — which she failed — in reference to knowing what happened to Angela and Mikey. In a post-polygraph interview, Barbara told the agents that Clarence had told her that “he had done away with both Angela Mack-Cox and Thomas Michael Rettew (Mikey) by killing them and destroying their bodies in a furnace that was attached to their farmhouse.” She said when they moved from the farmhouse to the house in Alton, that Clarence told her they had to move the furnace out of there since it was used to destroy the bodies of Angela and Mikey.

APRIL 7, 2021: Weaver spoke to Barbara, who gave him the same information, that Clarence told her he had killed them and destroyed their bodies in an outdoor furnace. She said, “they moved from the farmhouse and told her the furnace had to go because of what it had been used for.”

“The Oregon County, Missouri, Sheriff King was contacted and provided assistance in the case, along with the Oregon County States Attorney, the Arkansas State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said Weaver.

JUSTICE FOR ANGIE‘ FACEBOOK PAGE

Founder Tiffany Thomas made it her mission to find her missing school friend “Angie.” Last August, Thomas began a search for her friend, reached out to Angie’s family — brothers Greg, Joe — and others. Collectively, they did not let Angie be forgotten.

Thomas appreciated the information, “it’s good to have answers that I feel have been long overdue. But, it’s not the outcome I was hoping for.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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