A woman confessed that her late husband killed a young mom and her 4-year-old son who vanished in Arkansas in 2002 — bringing the two decade-old cold case to a close, authorities said.
Barbara Krusen told the FBI earlier this month that her husband Clarence Krusen admitted to her that “done away with” 20-year-old Angela Mack Cox and little Thomas “Mikey” Rettew and burned their bodies in a furnace.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that this new information had helped them close the missing persons investigation into the mom and son, who were last heard from in December 2002.
Detectives first spoke to Barbara last year, and she admitted to meeting Cox in the fall of 2002, when the mom came to work on the Krusen’s farm in Alton, Missouri.
Cox wanted to move to California and had agreed to let the couple adopt her son, even signing the papers, the widow told police.
However, Barbara said the mom later had a change of heart, and told Clarence she wanted to come back to retrieve her boy.
“Barbara stated that it angered both her and Clarence,” a statement on the case states. “She told Angela she needed to come back and pick up Mikey. That she didn’t want to just be a babysitter.”
The couple sent Cox a bus ticket and picked her up in Springfield, Mo., before heading back to their farm, Barbara said.
The next morning, little Thomas and his mom were gone.
Investigators later asked Barbara, now based in Virginia, to give a polygraph test, which she did on April 2 — and failed, according to the sheriff’s office.
During an interview after the lie-detecting test, Barbara finally admitted that her late husband had told her he’d gotten rid of the victims by “killing them and destroying their bodies in a furnace that they had attached to their farmhouse.”
When the couple eventually left the farm, Clarence told Barbara that they had to remove the furnace because of what it had been used for, she told the authorities.
He was fatally shot in Laredo, Tx., in 2012, the sheriff’s office said.
What happened to Cox and her son would remain a mystery for eight more years.
Detectives have never been able to locate any trace of their remains, but said they believe Barbara’s account.
She will not face charges in connection with the case.