Body of missing Bartlesville man believed found
BY LOUISE RED CORN World Correspondent
Saturday, December 29, 2012
12/29/12 at 6:40 PM
BARTLESVILLE — After months of agonized waiting, the family of Timothy Hauser closed one page Saturday in the Bartlesville man’s disappearance: A hunter found the 62-year-old’s body in a dense thicket about a quarter mile from where he was beaten and robbed early Aug. 9 in Osage County.
Law enforcement officers are certain the body is that of Hauser, but are calling in a state anthropologist to evaluate the scene Sunday and will perform DNA tests to make sure, said Osage County Chief Deputy Sheriff Charlie Cartwright.
“We’re going to leave him here one more night,” Cartwright told Hauser’s niece, Melanie Anderson, who has trudged over miles and miles of rough terrain looking for her uncle’s remains. A deputy was assigned to keep the area secure overnight.
The body was found around 1 p.m. Saturday by a man bow hunting off County Road 3425, a few miles west of Bartlesville.
He hit a deer and tracked it to the north, where he came across the body in a dense thicket that deputies had flown over with a helicopter in August. The summertime vegetation had concealed the body.
Three people have been charged in connection with the assault on Hauser. Trysta Shaffer, 28, and Rusty Boyd Petty, 41, were charged with conjoint robbery and have allegedly admitted assaulting Hauser with a bottle and a tire iron, though each claims the other dealt the fatal blows.
Shaffer grew up in Skiatook but both she and Petty lived in Bartlesville. Both have been jailed on $1 million bonds since their arrests a week after Hauser vanished. The charges could be amended following Saturday’s discovery.
Also charged with being an accessory after the fact was Kathleen “Kat” Roland, 36, of Bartlesville. She is accused of sheltering and clothing Petty and Shaffer after they allegedly committed the assault.
A preliminary hearing for Shaffer and Petty was delayed until Feb. 7 after Petty wrote letters to the judge and to his lawyer claiming that he suffers from mental illness that peaked the night he and Shaffer allegedly robbed Hauser after they left the Osage Casino near Bartlesville. Petty is to undergo a mental evaluation and a post-competency hearing is set for Jan. 18.
On Saturday, as word spread that Hauser’s body had been found, his relatives gathered in a pasture several hundred yards from the thicket where the body was found. They hugged, cried, and talked to officers, who also got a round of hugs.
Timothy Hauser’s niece, Melanie Anderson, and friend Ashley Fugate hug as Osage County Chief Deputy Charlie Cartwright looks on. Hauser’s body was found in a thicket in rural Osage County west of Bartlesville on Saturday, nearly five months after he vanished. LOUISE RED CORN/for the Tulsa World