(CHEYENNE, Wyo.) — A Missouri husband and wife in their 70s are in jail and awaiting extradition on charges they each carried out murders in two different cold cases more than 30 years ago.
Alice Uden, 74, and her husband, Gerald Uden, 71, of Chadwick, Mo., are facing first degree murder charges for allegedly killing their ex-spouses and children, according to a Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation news release. They are both in custody in Christian County Jail in Missouri awaiting extradition to Wyoming.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming was investigating the disappearance of Gerald’s ex-wife and her children when they learned that his current wife, Alice, may have been involved in the murder of her ex-husband in a nearby Wyoming county years earlier, an arrest affidavit said.
When Alice was arrested on Sept. 26, she offered up information that allowed authorities to arrest her husband the next day, a Christian County Sherrif’s Department news release said.
Little is known about the couple’s relationship, when they met or when they married. But the closeness in timing, alleged weapon of choice, and the state the killings took place appear to have uncanny similarities.
Still, Laramie County District Attorney Scott Homar said there was no information on their connection at this time.
“There have been agencies that have been looking at this quite seriously since 1974 and 1975,” Homar told ABC News. “But they are separate cases.”
Alice is accused of killing her ex-husband, 25-year-old Ronald Holtz, who disappeared in late 1974 or early 1975 in Laramie County, according to an affidavit.
In August, Holtz’s remains were found approximately 40 feet down an abandoned mine in Laramie County in August, an affidavit said.
An autopsy revealed his cause of death was a small caliber gunshot to the back of the head, and a .22 caliber bullet was found inside his skull. His death was ruled a homicide.
As early as 1989, an unidentified witness told police that Alice confessed in 1975 or 1976 to fatally shooting Holtz in the back of a head with a .22 rifle while he slept, according to an affidavit.
The witness said Alice allegedly wrapped Holtz’s body in blankets, placed it in a cardboard barrel, and dumped the barrel into an old mine shaft on a Laramie County ranch where she’d been living as a caretaker.
Relatives of Holtz said they had not seen or heard from the man since Christmas 1974, when he was still married to Alice, the affidavit said.
The couple married in September 1974, but after five months of marriage, Alice filed for divorce, the affidavit said. But Holtz was never found to be served with the paperwork, and the divorce was granted in July 1975.
Gerald is accused of killing his ex-wife, 32-year-old Virginia Uden, and her two children, 12-year-old Richard Uden, and 10-year-old Reagan Uden, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation said.
The woman and her children were last seen in September 1980 in Fremont County when they were on their way to meet Gerald.
It is unclear if the bodies of Virginia and her children were ever found.
Deputy Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun, who is prosecuting, declined to comment on the details of the case to ABC News. It is not known if Gerald has an attorney.
Gerald and Alice have been living in Christian County, Missouri, for approximately 22 years, the Christian County Sheriff’s Department said.
According to Missouri court records, Alice has a daughter, Erica Hayes. It is unclear if Gerald is her father.
ABC News’ attempts to reach Hayes were not immediately successful.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN Newswire
Jareen Imam, CNN Newswire