Kristin Chenoweth is putting on her detective hat for her new project. Entertainment Weekly reported that Chenoweth will appear in ABC News Studio's newest production, Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders. As for Chenoweth's connection to the crime, in which three young Girl Scouts were murdered during a camping retreat, she was originally supposed to be on that very getaway but ended up staying home after getting sick.
The tragedy in question occurred 45 years ago in Oklahoma. In the summer of 1977, three Girl Scouts — Lori Lee Farmer, 8, Michele Heather Guse, 9, and Doris Denise Milner, 10 — who attended Camp Scott in Oklahoma were discovered dead nearby the campsite. In a trailer for the upcoming four-part documentary, Chenoweth, an Oklahoma native, says that she was originally supposed to be on that trip. The actor explains, "I should have been on that trip, but I had gotten sick. My mom said, 'You can't go.' It has stuck with me my whole life. I could have been one of them."
Now, Chenoweth is heading back to Oklahoma to get to the root of this mystery. She says, "When I think of those three girls, I wonder what's the best way to honor them. That's why I'd come back home, to find answers once and for all." Elsewhere in the trailer, Chenoweth admitted that this was a story that she wished she "never had to tell," but added, "It haunts me every day. But this story, it needs to be told."
Forty-five years after the tragedy, authorities are able to utilize technology that wasn't available in the '70s. They are now able to look at previous evidence to see whether they can provide concrete answers as to who committed the crimes. Officials in the area do believe that Gene Leroy Hart was tied to the crimes, per PEOPLE. Hart was originally arrested and tried for the crimes in 1979. But, he was acquitted. Years later, DNA evidence suggests that he was involved in the girls' murders.
Hart, a jail escapee, died in 1979 while in jail on unrelated charges. Ahead of the documentary's premiere, Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed released the results of the 2019 DNA tests that they performed. Even though the results were inconclusive, authorities do believe that Hart was the one behind the tragedy. Reed told Tulsa World, "Unless something new comes up, something brought to light we are not aware of, I am convinced where I'm sitting of Hart's guilt and involvement in this case." Keeper of the Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders will premiere on Hulu on May 24.