Who was Tara Strozier? Missing mom found in Oklahoma pond was allegedly tortured and murdered

The sheriff's office suspected 'foul play' after Tara Strozier's car was found abandoned in a private drive on July 24


                            Who was Tara Strozier? Missing mom found in Oklahoma pond was allegedly tortured and murdered
Tara Strozier, 40, was listed as a missing person on July 19 by police just across the state line in Fort Smith, Arkansas (Fort Smith Police Department)

LE FLORE, OKLAHOMA: Authorities recovered the body of an Oklahoma mom from a pond 10 days after she was reported missing. They now believe she was tortured and murdered before her body was weighed down in the water.

According to a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, 40-year-old Tara Strozier was listed as a missing person on July 19 by police just across the state line in Fort Smith, Arkansas. At the time, she was last known to be driving a black Volkswagen Jetta with Florida license plates.

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Fort Smith police received a tip that Strozier was last seen in the area of Cameron, Oklahoma, prompting them to seek help from the Le Flore County Sheriff's Office in Sooner State. The news release stated the sheriff's office suspected "foul play" after the car in question was found abandoned in a private drive in Cameron on July 24. There was no sign of Strozier at the time.

Agents with the sheriff's office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation subsequently launched a probe and "believe Strozier was tortured at an unoccupied mobile home off Neblett Ridge Road in Cameron before being murdered by the pond near Rock Island," per the release.

Alex Nathaniel Davis, 30, Austin Johnson, 23, and Kaelin Hutchinson, 24, are the three suspects arrested in connection with Strozier's death. Her body was recovered on Thursday, the same day Davis admitted to killing Strozier at the pond in the presence of Johnson. The pair allegedly weighed Strozier down and threw her body into the water.

Alex Nathaniel Davis, 30; Austin Johnson, 23; and Kaelin Hutchinson, 24, are the three suspects arrested in connection with Strozier's death. (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)

Davis and Johnson are being held in the Le Flore County jail with no bond. Both are charged with first-degree murder, while Davis is facing an additional charge of kidnapping. They are due back in court on August 6. Meanwhile, Hutchison is charged with obstruction of an officer, accessory after the fact, and conspiracy. His bond was set on Friday at $250,000, People reported

In May, MEAWW reported how Keishla Rodriguez's body was found floating in the San José lagoon area a week before her autopsy report revealed the gruesome injuries and battered state professional boxer Felix Verdejo left her in. Keishla went missing after informing Verdejo and his wife that she was expecting his child. Initially, police had ruled Verdejo off as a suspect, but he turned himself in shortly after, and soon the heinous lengths he went to murder Keishla came to light. 

Verdejo is believed to have punched her and injected her with drugs, before dumping her from the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge into the lagoon, tied up with blocks. Verdejo then fired two missed shots after throwing her into the water, revealed his accomplice Luis Antonio Cádiz Martínez, who also served as the prime witness in indicting the boxer of the crime.

Sources close to the murder investigation told El Vocero that an autopsy performed by Institute of Forensic Sciences pathologist Rosa Rodríguez revealed how Keishla died of asphyxia by immersion. The findings stated that Keishla's jaw was fractured and there was another forceful blow on her nose. Traces of drugs found in her system exhibited a mix of heroin and fentanyl. It is presumed that when the pregnant 27-year-old was thrown over the bridge into the lagoon, she was unconscious but still alive. She ultimately died by immersion asphyxia after being drowned under the weight of the blocks tied to her.

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