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Murder suspects behind bars
Five people extradited to Great Bend
icy main Jan. 2020
Ice on Main Street Great Bend, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. - photo by Daniel Kiewel

Five people that are involved with the murder of a Wichita couple at the Barton County Fair back in July are behind bars in Barton County Jail after they were extradited back to Great Bend this week from Crawford County, Ark.  

Michael Fowler Jr., 54 of Sarasota, Fla, Rusty Fraiser, 35, of Aransas, Texas, and Kimberly Younger, 52, of McIntosh, Fla were charged Wednesday in Barton County District Court with capital murder, first degree murder and theft. They are being held on a $1,000,000 bond each. 

Also booked in the county jail Wednesday were Thomas Drake, 31, of Van Buren, Ark., and Christine Tenney. 38, of Santa Fe Texas, both for obstruction and obstructing apprehension. They are being held on a $300,000 bond each.

Fowler, Fraiser and Younger were extradited back to Kansas for the murder charges in connection to the deaths of Alfred “Sonny” and Pauline Carpenter of Wichita who were killed and their bodies transported back to Arkansas during the Barton County Fair in July. Court filings indicate Alfred Carpenter was shot to death.

According to Van Buren, Ark., Police Department, Fowler, admitted to police that he shot the Carpenters in Great Bend. He told Van Buren police that Frazier and Younger, also known as Myrna Khan, were with him when the couple was killed. Van Buren is the county seat of Crawford County.

Van Buren officers found the suspects at an apartment complex after receiving a call that a woman with them was concerned for her safety. The woman and another man were with the suspects when officers arrived. 

Officers also found a Dodge Ram pickup truck that belonged to the Carpenters.

Authorities believe the Carpenters were killed Friday, July 13, after meeting the carnival workers as the couple sold crafts, jewelry, purses and other handmade items during the fair in Barton County,

Investigators believe the carnival workers used the couple’s recreational vehicle Saturday to drive the bodies 320 miles to Van Buren where a relative of one of the workers lives. Authorities suspect the bodies were buried the following Monday next to a creek bed outside the small community of Natural Dam in the Ozark National Forest.

According to the Office of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the five suspects first appearance is scheduled for today.