Family, Friends Remember Fort Smith Woman Killed Five Years Ago

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Years after the murder of a Fort Smith woman, her family said they are still seeking justice.

They held a memorial for Briana Ault Sunday (Sept. 13). Ault was found dead in a pond in Pocola, Okla., exactly five years ago with her throat slashed, according to police reports.

Ault's friends and family spent the day remembering her at Central Christian Church in Fort Smith.

“We did stupid stuff together, got in a lot of trouble, but it was something we did together,” Ault's sister, Baylee Bowman, said.

Bowman said the family is still looking for answers.

“What we want is we want justice,” she said. “And everybody else’s life moves on, but ours is at a standstill.”

Elvis and Johnathen Thacker are both in the LeFlore County jail. Johnathen Thacker pleaded guilty to first-degree murder last year, and must testify against his brother in the case.

“My justice in the end is for them to stand before judge and jury and them tell them 'You have to take responsibility for this. Now you did this, you have to take responsibility,’” Briana’s mother, Bethany, said.

Bethany said she wanted Sunday to be about the lighthearted memories she has of her daughter.

“She decided one night she was going to fix supper for us, and macaroni and cheese was a staple in our house,” she recalled. “And she did not drain the water out of the macaroni and she put the cheese in, so we had macaroni soup that night -- but we still ate it…she meant well!”

Briana was 22 years old.

"Briana needed [to be] remembered. She needed not to be forgotten in the whole shuffle of everything,” Bethany said.

The jury trial for Elvis Thacker is set to begin on Jan. 11, 2016. He is facing a first-degree murder charge and the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty.

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