When an Oklahoma woman vanished in 2001, the conventional wisdom was that she had merely left town. At least that's what her husband told people he believed happened. And law enforcement authorities didn't have the evidence to prove otherwise in Jackson County, according to the NBC News affiliate in Wichita Falls, Tex.
Then celebrated former prosecutor Kelly Siegler and famous investigator Yolanda McClary hit town as part of the Cold Justice television show and it was like a legal earthquake shook southern Oklahoma. Altus police detective Bill Perkins suspected this was more than a disappearance case and contacted the Cold Justice team asking for help.
With the added resources of the TNT hit TV series Cold Justice added to the mix a witness was brought back from out of state and two other witnesses became more co-operative. Suddenly, law enforcement authorities were digging in the area between Lawton and Altus, looking for the possible remains of Tracy Allen.
Husband Garland Allen was arrested in Decatur, Texas and transported by a Texas Ranger to the Jackson County jail after Jackson County District Attorney John Wampler charged him with second degree murder, according to the Dec. 10 report by Channel 3 TV news of Wichita Falls.
Wampler gave a televised interview in which he said he believed Tracy Allen died shortly after an argument in the couple's home in Altus. He further said that previously there was only circumstantial evidence and not enough of that to charge anyone with a crime.
Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy said the defendant is now residing in the Jackson County Jail as law enforcement authorities continue searching for the remains of Tracy Allen.
Any remains found will be sent to the Oklahoma City medical examiner.
To hear more details of the case, people will have to tune in to the TNT series Cold Justice in February when the episode dealing with the investigation of this case is expected to air.
Siegler, who was a nationally-known prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney's Office in Houston, got the idea for this show when she worked on cold cases.
"I became interested in these type cases when I handled several of them in the DA's office. I realilzed that in a lot of smaller communities the resources just arent' available to solve them," she said during one interview.
Realizing a need to solve these types of cases in real life, Siegler approached Dick Wolf, the force behind Law and Order, with the idea of a show which solved these ancient, unsolved cases going back as far as 20 and even 30 years.
Siegler conceded these cases are difficult, but said she enjoyed the challenge of going back and trying to solve them.
Her partner in the series Yolanda McClary made her name as a topnotch investigator with the Las Vegas Police Department where she solved countless cases during a distinguished career. The female lead actor in the CSI television series said she based her character on McClary's real-life exploits.
The series first season ended in September. The second series is expected to resume on Jan. 17, 2014, according to Kristina Stafford of TNT.
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