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Police in Oklahoma are crediting Oxygen’s “Cold Justice” for the arrest in an 8-year-old murder. The show's producers helped obtain an arrest warrant for a suspect over the summer, and that suspect turned himself in Monday, following the premiere of the episode entitled "Bound and Burnt" on Saturday.
Donna Wilson was reported missing from Prue area in February 2011, just days after she became a grandmother. Six months after she vanished, a body was found burned inside a school bus on her property, according to News on 6 in Tulsa. She once shared that property with her boyfriend Dustin Koelliker.
Dale Hunter, an investigator from the Osage County Sheriff’s Department said on “Cold Justice” that it appeared that Wilson’s hands were behind her back, as if she was bound.
A forensics lab was able to determine the body belongs to a woman who matches Wilson’s profile, according to KOKI-TV in Tulsa. Though it wasn’t an exact match, police were certain that the remains belonged to her.
The case went cold until Kelly Siegler and Johnny Bonds of “Cold Justice” filmed an episode over the summer, reigniting public interest in the case. The episode reviewed possible persons-of-interest in the case, men that Wilson knew and had relations with. One of those men was Koelliker, who was the man who found Wilson’s remains. The episode revealed that he allegedly lied during his interview with police. He told them he called Wilson after he vanished, but police said call records indicate that he did no such thing. Koelliker also allegedly used her credit cards and shot and killed her beloved dog just weeks after she went missing.
During the "Cold Justice" investigation, police to determined that Koelliker allegedly killed Wilson before allegedly torching her body and they decided to charge him with second-degree murder.
“There is one common factor in every aspect of this story,” Hunter said. “Dustin Koelliker.”
“Cold Justice” show producers and police tried to track him down during the duration of the show, but he took off.
The show’s host Kelly Siegler stated on the episode that, “the evidence consistently comes back to one suspect.”
Charges were filed against Koelliker this summer, and a warrant for murder was issued for his arrest.
The suspect turned himself in to Osage County Jail on Monday.
Koelliker has previous convictions for aggravated robbery where he beat a clerk in the head with a hammer.
Friends and family called Wilson a person who was always able to see the silver lining in life. Anna Russell, her sister, said on “Cold Justice” that Wilson never had trouble making friends.
“She was very outgoing and likable,” she said.
Police said over the summer that the television program has helped them look into three cold cases in total, including Wilson's.
"The program brought resources in very expensive DNA testing and people to help locate over 100 witnesses across the three cases," they stated. "The program made it possible to close all three cases, two with an agreement from the District Attorney to file charges against two suspects."
The episode "Burnt and Bound" will re-air on Oxygen on Friday at 11/10c. It's also available online.
[Photos: Osage County Sheriff's Office; Oxygen]
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