May 14th, 2019

A Cold Case Gets Hot in the HLN Original Series “Hell In The Heartland: What Happened to Ashley and Lauria?” Premiering Sunday, June 2

Link to trailer: https://youtu.be/-Cvf9Jd6Ugg


May 14, 2019 Hell in the Heartland: What Happened to Ashley and Lauria?, an HLN Original Series shedding new light on a fascinating mystery that has stumped investigators for 20 years, premieres Sunday, June 2 at 9pm ET/PT.

This four-part investigative documentary series explores a harrowing and unique missing persons case that is currently evolving into a much larger story of unsolved murder, and allegations of cover- up and corruption in Oklahoma.

Crime author and investigator Jax Miller and former police investigator Sarah Cailean intrepidly research the confounding case of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman, two teenagers who disappeared in December 1999, after the Freeman family trailer was burned to the ground.  The series delves into the many strange theories of the case and reveals a truth that proves even more incredible.

Hell in the Heartland is produced by Banjay-owned Stephen David Entertainment. Executive producers of the series are Stephen David, Tim W. Kelly, Jonathan Soule, Mark Marabella, and Jax Miller Sarah Cailean who also serve as hosts of the series.

Hell in the Heartland will stream live for subscribers via CNNgo (at CNN.com/go and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TV and Android TV) and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android. Additionally, all series episodes will be available on demand after their broadcast premiere via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps.

By The Dawn’s Early Light, Jax Miller’s book about the Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible case and her efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice, will be published by Penguin Random House imprint Berkley in summer 2020.


Following are the episode descriptions and airdates for Hell in the Heartland:

June 2, 2019 (series premiere) “The Fire”

On the night of December 30, 1999 a fire rips through the Freeman family home in Welch, OK. Four people are in the house that night, but only two bodies are found – Kathy and Danny Freeman. Their daughter Ashley Freeman and her best friend Lauria Bible are nowhere to be found. And it isn’t long before investigators discover that the fire is not what killed Danny and Kathy Freeman. Both died of fatal gunshot wounds, and the person responsible may have taken the girls. But why would someone want the Freeman family dead? We follow investigators Jax Miller and Sarah Caliean as they probe the case and discover that there’s much more to the story than they first thought.

June 9, 2019 “The Suspects”

After digging into the 1999 murders of Kathy and Danny Freeman and the disappearance of their daughter Ashley and her best friend Lauria Bible, Jax and Sarah discover that this story is far more complicated than it appears. Only a year prior to the fire, the Freemans’ son, Shane, was killed by a deputy of the Craig County Sheriff’s Office, inciting a year long conflict between the Freemans and local law enforcement, and raising suspicion that the Freeman murder is a police cover-up. Jax and Sarah explore all possible leads in the months following the fire, and reveal a string of serial murderers and drug kingpins that may have had a hand in this case.

June 16, 2019 “The Dig”

After a series of dead leads, a notorious serial killer named Jeremy Jones confesses to the Freeman murder and the disappearance of Lauria and Ashley.  But after a lengthy investigation, Jones recants his confession, and without proper evidence, law enforcement is unable to charge him with the crime. Again facing a dead end, the Freeman and Bible families are left without answers, until a Facebook tip suggests that an old family friend of Danny Freeman, the murdered father, may be responsible. With new info about the location of the girls’ possibly buried bodies, Jax and Sarah prepare for a dig that could finally provide the answers.

June 23 2019 “The Arrest”

Years of dead ends and unsuccessful searches have left the Bible and the Freeman families in utter despair. But they’ve never given up hope. After a new Sheriff takes over the investigation, the case is blown wide open when he discovers a box of evidence that leads to what the families have been waiting years for – an arrest.


About HLN Original Series

Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, CNN Worldwide, oversees CNN Original Series and HLN Original Series. Nancy Duffy, vice president of program development for CNN, supervises production of internally-produced HLN Original Series, and Lizzie Fox, vice president of current programming, CNN Original Series, supervises production of commissioned HLN Original Series.

About HLN

HLN features live coverage of national, regional, lifestyle, and entertainment stories in a fast-paced approachable tone with expert-led, personality driven hosts by day. The network also presents original and acquired series focusing on true crime, mysteries and investigations. HLN is a CNN Worldwide network reaching more than 90 million households in the U.S. CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Warner Media Company, is the most trusted source for news and information.

Contact:   Karen Reynolds Karen.reynolds@turner.com 212-275-8253