Warrant issued for man accused of strangling escort
BY RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Friday, September 21, 2012
9/21/12 at 3:52 AM
CLAREMORE - An arrest warrant has been issued for a Claremore man who prosecutors say strangled an escort and threw her from a bridge last October.
Vance Dillon Wright, 35, was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of Kelsey Jean Bray, 27, records indicate. Bail for Wright, who hasn't been arrested, has been set at $1 million.
Bray's body was discovered Oct. 27 on the east slope of Interstate 44 near mile marker 244 - two miles northeast of the U.S. 412 exit - in Rogers County, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Bray's body was found under a bridge.
Because of the advanced decomposition of the body, the Medical Examiner's Office was unable to determine the cause of death. The body, however, did have several near-time-of-death skeletal injuries that were consistent with a fall from a bridge, according to the autopsy report.
State anthropologist Angela Berg determined that Bray's hyoid bone, a horseshoe-shaped bone at the base of the tongue, was broken, as often is the case in manual strangulation, records show.
The investigation showed that Wright met Bray on Oct. 9 through an escort service in Tulsa, and a woman who unsuccessfully tried to accompany Bray to meet Wright told authorities that Wright had agreed to pay $600 for Bray's company, the affidavit indicates.
About 4:30 that morning, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Rick Humdy assisted a stranded motorist near mile marker 244. Wright was identified as the driver of a white Dodge pickup in which Bray was a passenger, the affidavit shows.
The pickup had run out of gas, and Humdy helped Bray contact friends who reportedly agreed to take fuel to that location. Humdy left about 5 a.m., leaving Wright and Bray with the truck, the document indicates.
The friends arrived about 5:30 a.m., calling out for Bray and seeing Wright appear from the side of the road where Bray's body was later recovered, records state.
Wright gave the friends conflicting statements about Bray's having walked away from the scene and having been given a ride by another motorist, the affidavit states.
Bray's friends drove Wright to a convenience store, where Wright questioned the clerk and then told the friends that Bray already had been in the store for gasoline, documents indicate. Wright was driven back to his truck, but Bray wasn't located, and no family or friends reported having any contact with her following that night, records show.
Wright was taken into custody Oct. 29 in Coffee County, Tenn., on an arrest warrant for unauthorized use of a vehicle, the affidavit claims.
Extradited to Oklahoma on Nov. 4, Wright was interviewed by authorities and denied having knowledge of Bray's whereabouts, documents indicate. He reported that after the trooper left him and Bray on the side of the road, Bray took a gasoline can from his truck and began walking along the highway.
Wright reportedly denied that he saw Bray again, saying he never had money to pay her and that the entire incident had been a scam.
A supplement to the charge shows that in July 2005, Wright was convicted in Mayes County of possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Original Print Headline: Warrant issued for man accused of killing escort
Rhett Morgan 918-581-8395