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Triple Murder Tied To Bitter Custody Feud Solved 21 Years After Victims Vanished
The remains of Wendy Camp, her daughter Christina Britto, and sister-in-law Lisa Kregear were uncovered in a septic tank pit.
Around midnight on May 29, 1992 in Oklahoma City, Wendy Camp’s family was growing increasingly worried.
Wendy, 23, had gone to see her 4-year-old son, Jonathan Noe. She was accompanied by her 6-year-old daughter, Cynthia Britto, and sister-in-law, Lisa Renay Kregear.
“Wendy’s family expected them home around 7 or 7:30,” Dana Hertneky, a News 9 Oklahoma City reporter told Fatal Family Feuds, airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.
Wendy Camp, her daughter, and sister-in-law vanish
Wendy was in the middle of a contentious custody battle with the boy’s father, Chad Noe, so there were concerns before she’d left for the two-plus-hour drive to Shamrock, Oklahoma — though Camp had multiple sclerosis and didn’t drive. Instead, Chad’s mother, Beverly Noe, and grandmother, Ida Prewitt, picked the three travelers up early in the morning on May 29.
Around 4:30 p.m., Wendy called her husband, Leon, letting him know they were on the way home. But they never arrived.
“We knew that something wasn’t kosher,” said Wendy's sister, Aisha Hashmi. “Wendy has multiple sclerosis and hadn’t taken her medication.”
Camp’s family filed a missing-persons report on May 30. As investigators began looking into the case, they learned details about Wendy — and a bitter custody dispute preceding her disappearance.
Wendy grew up on a large farm and dreamed of being a vet. At age 16, she began dating college student Christopher Britto, with whom she welcomed her daughter, Cynthia, in 1986. However, when the baby was six months old, Britto’s parents “put pressure on [Christopher] to not be married to my sister,” said Hashmi. “So he did give her a divorce and returned to his home country.”
Wendy and Cynthia were warmly embraced by her family.
Wendy Camp dragged into "custody battle from hell"
While working at a local restaurant, Wendy met Chad Noe in 1987. She became pregnant with their son, Jonathan. After Wendy and Chad married, they lived with Wendy's parents, according to Hertneky.
A few months after the couple tied the knot, Wendy fell into a coma and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her family cared for Cynthia and Chad's mother, Beverly, agreed to watch over Jonathan until Camp recovered.
“About seven months after being in the coma, Chad gave my sister a divorce,” said Hashmi. From there, she added, “it turned into a custody battle from hell.”
Once Chad got custody, Beverly seemingly became responsible for raising Jonathan, said Hertneky. “Beverly really worked hard to keep Jonathan essentially to herself.”
Wendy's parents wanted to have visitation with Jonathan, but the Noe family “shut that down,” said Marty Wilson, a special agent with OSBI.
Meanwhile, Wendy's recovery was a long process, one that lasted more than a year. During that time, she met and married Leon Camp, whom she met in the hospital. “Leon would give you the shirt off his back,” said Michael Kregear, who was married to Leon’s sister Lisa.
As part of the missing persons investigation, police interviewed Beverly who insisted that she’d dropped off Wendy, Christina, and Lisa in Chandler, Oklahoma. “According to Beverly, Wendy was complaining about the fact that it has been so difficult to get visitation with Jonathan,” said Wilson.
“She stopped in the parking lot of a Walmart store there and let the three girls out,” he continuedd. “According to her, she thought they could either find a ride home or call Leon.”
Police questioned Ida Prewitt. Her account closely matched Beverly’s version of the events.
In Chandler, detectives found that the Walmart didn’t have a surveillance system. Employees who were working on May 29 couldn’t verify seeing the missing persons, according to Wilson.
Police followed up with Chad, who said that he believed the meeting went well. The last time he saw Wendy, Christina and Lisa, they were getting into the car to go home. In a polygraph test, Chad was shown to be truthful in his responses, said Wilson.
Despite no evidence contradicting Beverly’s story, investigators were compelled to scrutinize her account. But each follow-up interview with the Noe family were dead ends.
“They were racing against the clock,” said Hertneky. “Wendy needed her medication and her life was in danger.”
A week into the search, the media was notified and a $5,000 reward was offered for tips. Investigators continued to question witnesses.
Wendy Camp's former in-laws draw suspicion
“During interviews with Wendy’s parents and other family members, we found they did not think highly of Chad and Beverly Noe,” said Wilson. “They thought that they were responsible for this.”
Meanwhile, “Beverly went into hiding and nobody could find them for, like, a year,” said Hashmi. Then, in May 1992, Chad invited Wendy's husband, Leon, to visit Jonathan.
Police worked the case for a year without coming up with suspects to the disappearance. Investigators turned to Unsolved Mysteries.
While Beverly didn’t do an on-air interview, her mother, Ida, participated in the series. “Beverly and I did not have nothing to do with their disappearance,” she tells the show. “And I know this.”
“It was like she was trying to minimize any involvement that she might have had,” said Wilson.
As detectives dug deeper they learned that Ida and her daughter, Debbie, had been arrested when Debbie’s husband was stabbed to death. They were released due to a lack of evidence, but within the family comments were made.
“My grandma, Ida, she was ruthless,” said Chad Noe’s cousin, Kirsten Leading Fox. “She didn't have any problem with committing crimes.”
In the end, tips generated by Unsolved Mysteries were dead ends. In 2011, Ida Prewitt died. “We were hoping that my grandma Ida on her deathbed would admit what they had done. But she never said that,” said Fox.
Tip leads to bodies buried in a septic pit
The case went cold. Then, in 2013, Grover Prewitt, 60, Beverly’s brother, reached out to police. He believed that the three bodies were buried in a septic tank on his former property.
“He said he had suspicions that Ida and Beverly might have had something to do with the girls being missing,” said Wilson. “After the interview … he said, ‘I’m serious. You need to look in that hole.’”
It came to light that Ida lived in a trailer on the property. She had had a hole for a septic tank dug that ended up being used for years for trash. It stayed uncovered until just after Wendy and the two others went missing, said Hertneky.
Grover brought investigators to the possible burial site, though Beverly continued to deny any involvement. The slow and painstaking dig, done under the supervision of forensic anthropologist Angela Berg, turned up skeletal remains of three bodies.
The medical examiner determined that the victims had multiple gunshot wounds shown by defects to the bones, said Wilson. There were also indications of stab wounds. A gun and two kitchen knives were found under the remains.
On Jan. 10, 2014, the results of the DNA testing confirmed the remains were Wendy Camp, Cynthia Britto, and Lisa Kregear.
Wendy Camp's ex-mother-in-law Beverly Noe arrested for murder
Beverly was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Grover Prewitt was charged as an accessory. Chad Noe was never charged.
Rather than run the risk of losing the murder trial, the DA’s office offered Beverly a plea deal, which she accepted.
In Jan. 2015, Beverly, then 67, pleaded no contest to helping carry out the murders. Her charges were reduced to accessory to murder.
She was sentenced to 15 years in prison, plus 15 years of probation, news9.com reported. Due to her age and health issues, she was released after three years.
To learn more about the case, watch Fatal Family Feuds, airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.