Barbara Krusen allegedly confessed that her husband Clarence — who was killed in 2012 — told her he killed Angela Cox and her son, Mikey

By Chris Harris
April 12, 2021 11:37 AM
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angela mack cox
Angela Cox and her son, Mikey
| Credit: Facebook

Authorities say they now know what happened to a young mother and her son who vanished from Salem, Ark., back in 2002, thanks to information provided by the widow of a man who had allegedly confessed to killing them before his own death.

The Fulton County Sheriff's Office has closed the investigation into the disappearances of Angela Mack Cox, 20, and her 4-year-old son, Thomas "Mikey" Rettew, saying they believe the mother and son were killed by a man named Clarence Krusen.

Relatives last spoke to Cox in December 2002.

Krusen, 39, was fatally shot in Laredo, Tx., in 2012, PEOPLE confirms.

According to the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, detectives spoke to Krusen's widow, Barbara, in 2020, and she acknowledged meeting Cox in the fall of 2002.

Barbara Krusen said Angela was working on their farm in Alton, Mo.

The widow also told police that Angela, who wanted to move to California, agreed to let the Krusens adopt her son, even signing papers that would enable them to do so.

Barbara Krusen told investigators Angela later told Clarence Krusen she'd had a change of heart about giving up her son, and wanted to come back to get him.

"Barbara stated that it angered both her and Clarence," a statement on the case reads. "She told Angela she needed to come back and pick up Mikey. That she didn't want to just be a babysitter."

Barbara said the couple sent her money for a bus ticket, and picked her up in Springfield, Mo., before heading back to their farm. The next morning, there were no signs of Angela or Mikey.

In time, Barbara Krusen was asked to take a polygraph test, facilitated by the FBI.

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On April 2, two FBI agents traveled to Virginia to administer the polygraph test to her, and she reportedly failed.

During a post-polygraph interview, Barbara Krusen allegedly told the two agents Clarence "had done away with" the young mom and her son, by "killing them and destroying their bodies in a furnace that they had attached to their farmhouse."

When the Krusens moved years later, Clarence told Barbara they had to remove the furnace, because of what it had been used for, she allegedly confessed. She will not face charges in connection with the case, say police.

Detectives believe Barbara Krusen's claims about Cox and her son, but have been unable to find any trace of the victims' remains.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched online to help erect a memorial to Cox and her son.