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Hope resided on Section Line Road in Valliant, Oklahoma with her husband of four years, Jerry, and their three children, the oldest of whom was six. Jerry told authorities that he saw Hope inside their home at 3:00 p.m. on February 21, 2002, before he took their children on a camping trip. He said they were in the process of separating and he gave her $500 before he left. At around midnight, Jerry returned home because he had decided it was too cold to go camping. Hope wasn't there when he got back, and the $500 was missing also, but she left her 1985 Chevrolet pickup truck, car keys, eyeglasses and cellular phone. Jerry didn't report her disappearance for five days.
Authorities stated that it is uncharacteristic of Hope to leave without warning or to be out of touch with her family. She was about to complete a bachelor's degree in criminal law at the time of her disappearance, and hoped to become a dispatcher. She had a job with the McCurtain County Sheriff's Department; her duties included escorting prisoners from their cells to court appearances. She never picked up her last paycheck. Jerry filed for divorce from her fifteen days after her disappearance, and received full custody of their children.
In August 2012, Jerry was charged with first-degree murder in Hope's case. A photo of Jerry is posted below this case summary. Authorities believe Hope was murdered by her husband after a fight at their home. He was convicted in November 2013 and the jury recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Hope's body has never been found.
Oklahoma State Bureau Of Investigation