Bill Crider, long a person of suspicion in the case of his missing ex-wife, Joyce, has been indicted on drug charges in U.S. District Court in Lexington.
Earlier this month, Crider was indicted based on allegations that he distributed oxycodone in Wolfe County on March 17, 2009, and used a gun in committing the crime. Crider was arrested Thursday and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.
The case files don't mention any connection between the alleged crimes and the disappearance of his former wife, Joyce Gaines Crider of Lexington. Bill Crider has never been charged in the case, nor has Joyce Crider's body been found. She was last seen on the morning of Oct. 27, 2002, when she told a friend she was going to see him at the Holiday Inn on Athens-Boonesboro Road, where he was staying.
The couple had been married less than three years and were in the process of divorcing. Joyce Crider's brother, Mike Gaines, has said she was scheduled to give a deposition in the divorce case two days after her disappearance. Sworn police statements say she intended to implicate Bill Crider in insurance fraud. Her car was found in a Lexington parking lot more than a month after she went missing.
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Bill Crider has maintained his innocence, telling a reporter in 2006 that he had proof Joyce Crider was still alive.
Police have said he initially lied about when he last saw his estranged wife. The couple's divorce was finalized in 2003, without Joyce Crider.