Friday, July 28, 2023 - Two people are in custody in Illinois and have reportedly confessed to the murder of Ricky Don Henning, 58, of Sallisaw.
Kimberly Ball Gilbert, (above left), of Sallisaw, and Mose Smith, of Stilwell, (right) allegedly confessed to the murder on Friday, according to Misty Bateman, daughter of Henning.
Henning (pictured above) was reported missing on July 23. According to Bateman, a friend of Henning's had gone to his home earlier in the week and was met at the door by Smith who allegedly stated that Henning was "not available."
After family was unable to reach Henning, authorities were called to his home to perform a welfare check. Bateman stated that the house was in disarray and Henning's dog had been left inside unattended. Henning's belongings were still in the home but his truck was missing. A pair of jeans with bloodstains was found inside the home.
Neighbors stated that they had heard yelling and fighting on the last day they remembered Henning being at home. After that Gilbert and Smith were reported to have left in Henning's truck. They were later seen in the Cave Springs area where they borrowed gas money from a friend who stated that Henning was not with them at that time.
The two were later spotted in the state of Wisconsin where they were stopped by authorities but released due to a lack of evidence related to Henning's disappearance. They reportedly stated that Henning had allowed them to use the truck but later gave conflicting stories related to Henning's whereabouts. Bateman informed Wisconsin police that the truck legally belonged to her and they did not have permission to drive it and they were forced to leave the truck with authorities. Bateman stated that as far as she was aware the truck had not been processed for evidence as of Friday.
The two then made their way to a campground in Wisconsin where they allegedly robbed and beat an unidentified female. Authorities placed a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) for the couple related to that incident.
The two suspects were then spotted and arrested in the state of Illinois related to the robbery in Wisconsin. While in custody, authorities discovered that the two were also suspects in Henning's disappearance in Oklahoma and notified local authorities.
Sequoyah County investigators flew to Illinois on Friday to question Gilbert and Smith. The two allegedly confessed to killing Henning and provided some details as to the location of his body.
Authorities in Sequoyah County are currently working to locate and retrieve Henning's body.
We will bring you more details as they become available.
KXMX Staff Writer
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