Court records show Bartlesville Police filed a request for an order so White’s cell phone provider could ping his phone as they searched for him.
In that request, police said White had been accused of molesting a juvenile female. Police said they were beginning an investigation when White disappeared.
Bartlesville Police found a note in his vehicle “that he was suicidal or possibly fleeing to avoid investigation.”
On Friday, the Examiner-Enterprise obtained a copy of an order, filed on April 18, by BPD Sgt. David Hackler, requiring mobile telephone service provider T-Mobile to provide “real time GPS pinging of (White’s) phone” in an effort to locate the device, as well as “any technical assistance requested by (the BPD) or any other employee of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.”
The public document states that the “requested records and information are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation,” and provides a brief summary of allegations that were apparently made against White prior to his death.
“Subject, Walter Thomas White, was had been reported to have molested a (age omitted) juvenile female. Police had begun to investigate and Mr. White had disappeared. His vehicle was later found, but he was not located. A note was located in the vehicle that he was suicidal or possibly fleeing to avoid investigation. A search had begun to locate Mr. White but was unsuccessful. It was learned that this was his cell phone and needed to run a ping on the phone to locate Mr. White to check his safety.
“Applicant further believes that by learning the GPS location of the above cellular telephone, it could lead law enforcement to the person(s) responsible in this molestation.
“Applicant further requests this Court to order that the TELEPHONE COMPANY (T-Mobile) not disclose to the subscriber, or customer, the existence of this Application …”
Statement from The Voice of the Martyrs:
The events of the last week are tragic. On Wednesday we learned that Tom White, VOM’s executive director, had died.
Allegations were made to authorities this week that Tom had inappropriate contact with a young girl. Rather than face those allegations, and all of the resulting fallout for his family and this ministry and himself, Tom appears to have chosen to take his own life.
None of those in leadership at VOM, including our Board of Directors, were aware of these allegations at the time of Tom’s death.
There is no doubt that Tom cared about his wife, his children and his grandchildren. And there’s no doubt that he cared about VOM.
We are deeply saddened by these events. Our hearts are broken.
However, the work that God has called VOM to do is bigger than any one of us. There are persecuted Christians who need our help. The legal process will go forward, and we will continue serving with our persecuted brothers and sisters.
We appreciate the many who are praying for our work, and we encourage you to join us in praying for Tom’s family during this difficult time.
The police chief in Bartlesville Oklahoma is a board member of VOM.
The young girl White is alleged to have had ‘inappropriate contact’ with was 10 years old. If the molestation allegations are true, she is never going to be the same. While I can appreciate the board is in shock at what their statement acknowledges as an apparent suicide of their colleague in the workplace, this girl and her family need prayer and professional support. An alleged victim is not secondary to an executive directors death. What troubles me is this: will other allegations be forthcoming? Are there other girls and their families who have not gone to authorities?
USA National Sex Offender Registry:
The average child molester will molest fifty girls before being caught and convicted.
A child molester that seeks out boys will molest 150 boys before being caught and convicted and he will commit at least 280 sexual crimes in his lifetime.
The standard pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in their lifetime.
Most sexual abuse happens between the ages of 7 and 13.
There are over 491,720 registered sex offenders in the United States.
80,000 to 100,000 of the above offenders are missing.
Molesters known by the family or victim are the most common abusers. The Acquaintance Molester accounts for 70-90% of reported cases.
The Voice of the Martyrs was founded in 1967 and is an advocacy agency operating in 13 countries. Each branch is autonomous. The US VOM had revenues of 47 million in 2010. White worked for The VOM for about 30 years with a salary of 145 thousand dollars. The VOM US employed about 125 people and the organization moved into a state of the art secure facility in 2011. White’s funeral will be held at US The VOM offices.
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise editorial: Confronted with the awful truth
I will not even pretend to imagine the pain that White’s family, his friends, co-laborers at VOM, and the many people around the world who admired and respected him, are experiencing at this time. It has been a lot to absorb in a very short time.
I can with all certainty, however, tell readers that this week was also very difficult for the newsroom staff of the Examiner-Enterprise.
Some observers erroneously assume that the media in general, and the newspaper specifically, takes some perverse delight in reporting such stories. I cannot speak on behalf of all “media,” but I can tell you with utmost sincerity, that absolutely no one associated with this newspaper took any satisfaction whatsoever in reporting this heartbreaking story.
I can also tell you that for me personally, the decision to pursue and ultimately publish our Friday front-page news was one of the most gut-wrenching that I have ever had to make in my newspaper career.
As much as I might wish this tragic and unseemly story would go away, it will not. I and my staff are duty-bound to report the truth — all the truth — not just the truth that makes us feel good, but also the truth that is sometimes awful to acknowledge and even more difficult to accept.
We know full well that some readers would prefer the newspaper not report this news. Some accuse us of sensationalism. Others argue that the information should be hidden in order to protect family members and others close to the situation from further emotional distress.
Still others will lash out at the newspaper for what they perceive as a smear against a man’s legacy or the organization to which he devoted so much of his life’s work. Others accuse us of showing a lack of “decency” or of even being “anti-Christian.”
I vigorously disagree with these criticisms, but I also understand where they come from.
When most of us (journalists included) hear news that is just too painful to believe, we tend to initially direct our anger and frustration at the messenger. The one who delivers the unpleasant news often becomes the object of our misdirected scorn.
Update: Wade Burleson is a SBC pastor in Oklahoma. He has an open letter to the 10 year old girl.
Update: The father of the 10 year old girl reaches out to Wade Burleson after reading his post.
Update: The investigation into molestation allegations has been closed by Bartlesville Police. They are waiting for the report from Medical Examiner re: White’s c.o.d.