By Tammy Curtis, Publisher
Two local residents were among the three murdered and discovered in shallow graves in Eldon Hill, Okla. on Jan. 28 and 29.
The killer, who was also a former local resident, confessed to the killings after surrendering himself to law enforcement on Friday evening.
Family reported Quinley Lamb missing on around Jan. 24. According to sources close to Lamb’s family, Lamb’s brother Jimmie, Jr. received a tip from a former family member of suspect Robert Edwin Lewis, 61, that his sister and her long time friend, Brian Shackelford, had been killed and buried on property near Tallequah, Okla.
Lamb reportedly drove to Eldon, in Cherokee County in Eastern Oklahoma and located the grave on Lewis’ property in the early morning hours of Jan. 28. Lamb then contacted family in Sharp County and the Sharp County Sheriff’s Department about his discovery.
Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts then contacted Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault informing them Lamb had located his sister’s body in his county.
Friday night, Lamb directed law enforcement to the location of his sister’s grave on the wooded property near Tallequah, Okla.
Sheriff Chennault said in a news article released by the Tallequah Daily Press on Jan. 29, “The brother said he found her in a grave on the property. We made contact with the brother, he took us to the property, and we found what we believe to be a female in a shallow grave on the property.”
The suspect, Robert Lewis, whose land the first body was discovered on, reportedly later called a family member and wished to turn himself into authorities.
After obtaining a search warrant, Lewis was found at the Cherokee Nation Casino and taken into custody by investigators with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. Lewis later admitted to killing three people and burying them on his property. Officers secured the scene overnight and on Saturday morning, continued the search and located two additional shallow graves, according to the sheriff.
The victims whose families were notified later are Quinley Lamb 43, of Ash Flat, Brian Shackleford, 52, of Highland, and Lewis’ girlfriend, DeAnna Tippy, 36, of Cherokee County.
Lewis’ truck was initially being sought on Saturday afternoon but was located shortly thereafter at a friend’s house in nearby Park Hill where he had dropped it off earlier. The friend, realizing the vehicle was being sought, called authorities, informing them of its location.
Shackelford had allegedly been living on Lewis’ property in a camper for several months. Quinley Lamb is believed to have been residing with Shackelford during part of that time. She had received a large cash settlement for a work related injury and was believed to have been taking some of the money to Shackelford in Oklahoma a few weeks before she was reported missing.
A review of court documents showed that Lamb had recently sued her employer through attorney Jody Shackelford last year for a fall at work that left her right hand disabled, preventing her from being a beautician. An undisclosed settlement amount was reached in the case and the case closed Jan. 20. A local source close to Lamb reported that she had between $20,000 to $30,000 in cash from the case’s settlement with robbery as a possible motive, but Sheriff Chennault said in statements to the press Lewis did not give a motive for the killling.
Autopsy results show the cause of death for Lamb was a fractured skull, Shackelfords’s cause of death was a cut to his throat and Tippie was strangled.
Jan. 31 Sheriff Chennault said they believe Lamb and Shackelford were killed Jan. 16 and Tippie was killed sometime after Jan. 19.
Jimmie Lamb, Jr. was arrested while in Oklahoma for “possession of a controlled dangerous substance” according to the Cherokee County Detention Center. Lamb was booked in on Friday night around 8 p.m. He was released Sat. Jan. 29 around 8 a.m. to a family friend, Brenda Holaday, after posting a $2,500 bond. Arrangements for Shackelford and Lamb have not been announced.
A press conference was held in Tallequah on Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. Footage from the live broadcast can be seen on journalist Keri Thornton’s Facebook page according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.
Lewis remains in custody and was charged Jan. 31 with three counts of First Degree Murder. Bond had not been set at press time. Eldon Hill is a rural unincorporated town with a population of 376.