Cold Case Arrest: Husband Suspected In 1978 Disappearance Of Oroville Woman

OROVILLE (CBS13) – Detectives have arrested a man in connection to the 1978 disappearance of an Oroville woman.

According to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, detectives have been working on the cold case of Deborah Diane Owens. She was last seen in November of 1978, reportedly by her husband Marvin Gail Owens.

No one has heard from Deborah since then, and no evidence of her being alive has ever been found, according to detectives.

Detectives say they have long suspected Marvin of murdering Deborah then disposing of her body.

Marvin Gail Owens' booking photo after being arrested in Nebraska. (Credit: Keith County Sheriff's Office)

Marvin Gail Owens’ booking photo after being arrested in Nebraska. (Credit: Keith County Sheriff’s Office)

As a result of a recent investigation spearheaded by former Butte County Sheriff Perry Reniff, a felony arrest warrant was issued for Marvin on a charge of murder. He was soon arrested in Nebraska and will eventually be extradited back to Butte County.

It is unclear what, if any, new information led detectives to arresting Marvin.

Detectives note that they’re also looking into if Deborah’s disappearance is connected to the case of Essie Margarette Hiett, who was last seen in February 1978.


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