LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Brian Keith Freeman first met Lori Lynn Hannah back in 2016.
Like most relationships, the Ward couple were inseparable. Freeman was a hard-working laborer, described by many as charming, loving and supportive. Hannah was outgoing and a single mother who worked from home. It didn’t take long for the two to connect and take the relationship to the next level. But no one had any idea that the “next level” would result in tragedy and a nationwide search for an accused killer.
A year-and-a-half into their relationship Freeman proposed to Hannah. But the so-called honeymoon didn’t last long. According to Deputy Jeremy Hammons with the U.S. Marshals, the engagement quickly unraveled. He described the relationship as “tumultuous” and that Freeman was “extremely jealous of her, very controlling of her.” Eventually, Hannah couldn’t take it anymore and called off the engagement.
“When she finally left him, separated or terminated the relationship, he just couldn’t deal with that. He begged and pleaded to get back together with her,” said Hammons.
But Hannah refused to let him back into her life. A decision that investigators believe resulted in her tragic death.
In late March of 2017, U.S. Marshals say Hannah’s sister received what she called a bizarre text message from Freeman’s sister.
Hammons told Fox16’s Kevin Kelly, “Freeman’s mother had actually reached out to her (Hannah’s sister) and told her that she had spoken with Brian and that there may be something wrong with Lori and that she needed to go check on her sister.”
Hannah’s sister rushed over to her house and when she arrived police were already there along with homicide detectives and crime tape. Inside, was the body of Lori Hannah.
Hammons says investigators quickly turned their attention to Freeman and for good reason. According to authorities, Freeman had sent his mother a startling text message the night before Hannah’s body was found saying he had killed her.
And he didn’t stop there according to Hammons, “He had made some phone calls reaching out to other people and said he had done a bad thing.”
But by the time all this had surfaced, authorities say Freeman was on the run and has been ever since that tragic day.
Marshals got their first clue as to where Freeman might be when his truck was located nearly 350 miles away in Royse City, Texas.
Hammons said, “It looked as if the truck was driven off the road and just parked and abandoned.”
Inside the truck, authorities found Freeman’s car keys along with his wallet and ID. But no clear or apparent sign of where Freeman was or might have gone.
“That area has been thoroughly searched. It’s been searched with search dogs, with search teams,” and still no sign of Freeman.
It’s possible he left on foot or had someone meet him there and take him somewhere else. But there’s another scenario being investigated by Hammons.
“Freeman was known to throw the suicide line out there a lot. He would talk to these females and say he was depressed or upset, and he would win them over by making them feel sorry for him,” said Hammons.
I immediately asked Hammon is he was buying the suicide possibility. His response was, “No.”
So where is Freeman?
More than two years have passed since the murder and Hammons says no matter what, he will find Freeman.
“He is number one. I’m the lead investigator on this case, but it’s definitely the number one priority for the Eastern District of Arkansas in our office,” Hammons said.
Hundreds of tips and possible sightings have been investigated. Others are still actively being looked at. But so far, no positive confirmations.
What makes him stand out in a crowd though are his numerous tattoos.
“We tell people to look for those black stars with red outlines on his elbows. He’s also got a few other tattoos around his body,” according to Hammons.
Another carrot being dangled out to the public that might help solve this case- a $10,000 dollar reward. U.S. Marshals are determined to track Freeman down and Hammons says it will happen, and it doesn’t matter whether he’s dead or alive.
If you have seen Freeman, heard from him or know where he might be, call the U.S. Marshals at 501-324-6256.