Kristopher “K.C.” Clarke, a young man with an engaging smile, disappeared from Blackstone trucking in Mandaree, on property owned by Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall.
The 29-year-old was last seen Feb. 22, 2012.
His mother, Jill Williams of Buckley, Wash., never stopped believing the owner of Blackstone trucking, James Henrikson, was involved.
She was not shy about saying so and in 2013 was sued for defamation by Henrikson and his wife, Sarah Creveling, in a case filed in Pierce County, Wash. On the Facebook page “Find kc-gimpdaddy,” that she started to help find her son, Williams said her legal fees took her into bankruptcy for a case a court judge dismissed two months ago.
The defamation lawsuit seems particularly ironic given that on Wednesday, a federal grand jury indictment made public what Williams was finally told several weeks ago by federal authorities in Washington: Her son was brutally murdered and Henrikson, 35, is one of the men charged in hiring it done.
The indictment isn’t clear on who actually killed Clarke and is silent about where or how it was done.
It is an indictment for murder with no body for evidence.
Williams has turned her effort from desperately trying to find her son to finding his remains.
On the Facebook page that she has religiously updated for more than two years, she posted a $10,000 reward donated anonymously to anyone who can tell her where her son’s body is located.
She also posted, “We had expected the worst for some time now and I am devastated to have to share that our K.C. was brutally murdered. We cannot share all of the details at this time, so as not to compromise the case.”
The other man charged in the murder-for-hire scheme is Timothy Suckow, who is already in custody. Authorities allege that for an undisclosed amount of money from Henrikson, he pulled a gun and shot to death a financial enemy of Henrikson’s in a dispute over oil leases on the reservation. The dead man, Doug Carlile, was shot in December 2013 in his Spokane, Wash., home while his wife hid upstairs.
The indictment’s charge that Henrikson hired Suckow to kill Carlile wasn’t a surprise because Henrikson had been implicated in the killing for months.
That Henrikson and Suckow were allegedly involved in killing Clarke was news and may finally lay to rest the question of whether he is dead or missing.
The reward was posted Wednesday, the same day Henrikson was in federal court in Bismarck. He’ll be transferred to Washington, where federal authorities will take over the case — not only against Henrikson and Suckow, but four other men who allegedly conspired with Henrikson in other murders that were never executed. Henrikson also is charged with dealing heroin.
Williams said, in the Facebook timeline, that her son left Texas with Henrikson in October 2011 to work as operations manager for Blackstone trucking. The job didn’t work out and he decided to work for another company.
She said her son told friends that he carried a gun constantly because he felt he was in danger.
He was last seen at Blackstone and the last cellphone call he made was in the Mandaree area on the date of his disappearance.
After that came a total blackout in communication with his phone, friends, family and bank account. Three months later, his pickup was found, abandoned, unlocked and rifled through, in Williston.
Williams told a Spokane television station Wednesday that she thinks her son was killed because he was leaving Blackstone.
“He was trying to get away. He didn’t want to be around those kinds of people,” she said. “So, he tried to leave. And that’s when they killed him.”
More details will come to light as the case progresses in Washington state, where federal authorities have said the federal Department of Justice is reviewing whether to pursue a death sentence.
Reach reporter Lauren Donovan at 701-220-5511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.