Sonny and Pauline Carpenter were serving as vendors at a Kansas county fair when authorities say they were murdered and buried in shallow graves in a forest in Arkansas.
On July 19, 2018, The Associated Press reported that authorities now say they have arrested three carnival workers in the vendors’ deaths. The Carpenters were working as vendors at the Barton County Fair near Great Bend, Kansas. According to Fox4KC, authorities believe the Carpenters met the suspects at the fair, where the Carpenters “sold crafts, jewelry, purses and other handmade items.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Couple’s Bodies Were Found in an Arkansas Creek Bed
The couple’s bodies were found in the middle of a creek bed in an Ozark Forest in Arkansas, authorities told 5News. “Those responsible for this murder and burying bodies went to great lengths to bury the couple,” Sheriff Ron Brown told the television station.
Authorities believe Pauline Carpenter was murdered inside a camper and her husband was slain outside of it.
Authorities became involved when the Carpenters went missing from a county fairgrounds, where they were working as vendors at the fair. The cause of death and motive have not been released.
Three Suspects, All Carnival Workers, Are in Custody
The suspects accused in the murders are Rusty Frasier, Michael Fowler and Kimberly Younger. Police say that Kimberly Younger, 52, and Rusty Frasier, 35, are from Texas, and Michael Fowler, 54, is from Florida. Kimberly Younger also goes by the name Myrna Khan. News sites have also given Rusty’s name as Frazier and Fraiser, but he goes by Frasier on Facebook. Jail records give his name as FRASIER, RUSTY LEE, but say he used Fraiser as an alias.
The charges are for abuse of a corpse, theft of property, and tampering with physical evidence.
On Facebook, Frasier wrote that he was a ride operator and truck driver for a carnival company who used to work in oil fields. On July 17, 2018 he shared a post about supporting the Pledge of Allegiance. He also shared posts advocating gun rights. His comment threads have filled with angry comments. “you peice (sic) of sh*t, that was my family i hope you burn in hell for what youve done,” wrote one man. “I never dreamed I’d grow up to be an as*hole but here I am killin’ it,” read one meme that Frasier shared on Facebook.
In May, he wrote on Facebook, “If you don’t like our Nation’s flag, way of life, our beliefs that ALL are equal then maybe you should find another country to refuge in.”
Fowler’s Facebook page says he worked as an X Ride Jock, Midway worker for an amusements company and was a former group leader at a foundry who is from Ohio. In 2017, he updated his cover picture with a T-shirt that bore the slogan, “Don’t ever think that the reason I’m peaceful is because I don’t know how to be violent.” He also shared the Don’t Tread on Me flag. Another graphic contained the Confederate flag and read “Rebel Spirit.” He also posted a graphic of the Confederate flag with a skull. In 2012, he wrote, “Gotta love carnie life.” Another graphic said, “Rebel till the day I die.”
Sonny Carpenter Was a Retired Sheet Metal Worker
According to his Facebook page, Sonny Carpenter was a retired aircraft sheet metal lead at Boeing Aircraft Co. He studied “Accountancy” at Wichita State University and went to West High School in Wichita, Kansas.
His Facebook page doesn’t have much on it except for a few family photos and shares of online games, including one called Criminal Case in which the share read “Click on the killer!” Other posts were for online slot machine games.
In one comment thread, family members professed to miss the couple.