Patricia Gager is challenging the Hunt County Sheriff. Stacks of documents she has collected show no one is looking for her sister
Greenville, TX – It was the kind of brick-through-the-window statement people sometimes make when they aren’t really sure who they’re talking to and they aren’t all that circumspect.
Aaron Parker stopped his vehicle to give Stacey Fletcher a ride when she thumbed him down between Qunlan and West Tawakoni. The subject of the mysterious 1991 disappearance of his sister, Carey Parker, came up as they drove through a rural neighborhood near the lake.
The thing is, Stacey had no idea she was talking to Carey Parker’s brother. To this day, she is reluctant to talk about what she told him. She begs off for another day to complete an interview to fact check her memories of events surrounding what she said happened to his sister.
Carey Parker was last seen alive on March 17, 1991, and circumstances, witness recollections – the things people say they saw and heard – point to a reasonable suspicion the woman, a mother of three, more than just hauled off and disappeared. People are pretty much agreed that Carey is long gone, that her life ended through violent means, and some folks have some very firm ideas about all that.
The problem is, no one who is operating in any official capacity shows much concern.
But though the party people, the jicksters and coke heads – people who at the time were doing the wild thing on the night shift – are concerned about probation and parole, the cops, courts, neighbors, in-laws and outlaws, they are starting to come forward after all these years with their recollections of the last time they saw Carey Parker alive and – well – angry.
There are a couple of key players in the drama – both law men. One is now dead. More about them later.
Everyone agrees it was on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1991, Carey Parker left her job at a manufacturing company in Terrell for the last time. She headed for Quinlan. Most people involved say they saw her at a party held that evening in the rural lakeside community of Hawk Cove.
As Parker gave Stacey Fletcher a ride, they passed a commercial location, Songer Septic Systems. Stacey Fletcher made the offhand remark, “If you want to know where she’s buried, it’s right there.”
He says she pointed to a rear corner of her ex-boyfriend’s parents’ property. It’s not the first time members of Carey Parker’s family have heard about this location and the hole she told her father that her ex-boyfriend was digging with a backhoe the family used in their business.
Just days before her disappearance she told her father, volunteer fireman Howard Parker, of her concerns that her ex-boyfriend Cody Songer meant to harm her. She told him about the hole.
Parker told family members that when he suggested it was for a new septic system, she replied, “It’s too big for a septic tank.” The hole Cody was digging, she said, was big enough to bury her – and her car. She told her father she was scared – in fact, terrified.
After Stacey Fletcher went to the penitentiary to do time over a drug conviction, Parker’s sister Patricia Gager became a pen pal. The two women wrote each other on a routine basis, and Patricia furnished her with stamps and other gifts to make a convict’s life a little easier.
In one letter, Stacey drew her a map – an x-marks-the-spot missive – showing where the big hole in the rear corner of the septic tank service’s lot had been excavated, then covered in.
Howard Parker recalled in a conversation that was recorded, then mislaid, that Carey had told him that she was afraid of Cody because she had threatened to go to a law man and turn state’s evidence in order to serve prosecutors as a witness against him, to testify about his dealing drugs – cocaine and methamphetamines. There was mention of a “cartel,” and that if they caught up with them, it was either he, or herself who would go down at the hands of outlaws from the other side of the border.
In her conversation, she implicated a Justice of the Peace named Dan Robertson, whom she alleged was in collusion with drug dealers and cartel members. She furthermore mentioned a Quinlan police officer and a Constable named Collin Smith who was involved in an investigation regarding her allegations. Carey Parker was ready to name names.
Constable Smith is dead; Justice of the Peace Robertson is still around.
According to a news brief, On October 13, 1994, a Dallas County jury convicted Hunt county judge Michael Farris of felony drug possession. Videotape evidence showed Farris buying methamphetamines from an undercover drug agent. Ferris claimed he was entrapped. He was introduced to the “drug dealers” by Hunt County justice of the peace Dan Robertson.
Parker says of his sister, “I will say my sister had a big mouth. She didn’t care where she was standing, or who was listening, when she got mad.”
According to folks who were there, including Cory Songer, she got good and mad on the evening of March 17, 1991, while at a party held at the home of an Oklahoma man named Jim Wilburn.
A woman known by the street name of Cactus danced with Cody. In fact, they changed partners as they partied. She asked him point-blank if he intended to have sex with Cactus. He said in a phone interview with her son Brian that he told her he was “thinking about it.”
That’s when she threw a drink in his face and left in a huff with Wilburn. When they came back, she talked to her party’s host through the window of the car, then left for the second time. Songer says that’s the last time he saw her.
Not everyone involved believes him.
He has allegedly given various persons conflicting accounts of what happened to Carey Parker since then. According to a woman who lived with him for six years after the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend Carey, Songer said she overdosed on drugs at his parents’ home, the septic tank company where he had dug the big hole with his dad’s backhoe. Both Shirley and Janice, another girlfriend of Songer’s who got a conflicting report about what happened to her, say that he at times made the offhand remark that she headed for Mexico to be “a sex slave.”
Her life with Songer was perceived as a non-stop Punch and Judy show. According to Aaron Parker, he found her crying at a convenience store in Quinlan one day shortly before she disappeared. She told him she and Songer fought as they rode down the road in his truck, and when she tried to kick out the windshield, he opened the passenger door at sixty miles per hour to eject her, then dumped her at the beer store.
SHERIFF RANDY MEEKS considers what he and his officers do in the course of a day on the job to be “God’s work.”
He said so in a letter to the editor recently, a little something published in the local paper in which the Sheriff took pen in hand to express his feelings about the criticism leveled at police everywhere when folks judge them harshly for their alleged violence toward suspects.
In fact, he mentioned in a press conference a Texas Rangers investigation into why one of his deputies beat a woman 38 weeks pregnant with a closed fist when he accompanied CPS workers to seize her 18-month-old son. Deanna Jo Robinson demanded they show her the writ of attachment, and when she was not allowed to read a legal instrument, she tried to block them from coming through the door to take her little boy. A check of the records in the District Clerk’s Office shows that at the time, there was no court order on file authorizing the seizure of her child.
Quite simply, the CPS worker had nothing to show her; he merely mimed the action of flipping a file open, then quickly shutting it. He admitted as much to a man he works out with at a Greenville gymnasium.
Sheriff Meeks said an investigation by Texas Rangers determined she tried to reach for the man’s sidearm where it was holstered. A YouTube video captured by a computer surveillance camera depicts the violent incident of “God’s work” in which 1.5 million viewers worldwide saw the techniques used by the Hunt County mounties to subdue a very, very pregnant women who tried to defend her toddler. They bent her over a kitchen counter, wrestled her to put on handcuffs, and beat her in the area of her kidneys with a closed fist.
She is under indictment for allegedly interfering with a writ of attachment at this time following a six-day stay in jail dressed only in a paper smock, where she slept on a mattress pad on a concrete floor. When only days later she gave birth to a second son, CPS workers took the child away from her at the hospital immediately after his birth.
At a recent Town Hall forum, Sheriff Meeks fielded a question from a spectator who asked about the four cold cases of disappearances of people during his administration.
He made a vague and tepid remark about “today’s requirements” imposed by the Texas DPS Crime Lab, something about how one DNA request has been pending for seven years.
That set Patricia Gager, sister of Corey Parker, deep in thought. She and another sister submitted DNA samples to the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office a number of years in the past, to be tested by the DPS and the results placed on file, with which to compare any remains recovered.
“We never heard anything from them,” she recalls. Finally, she contacted a detective who admitted the samples were “lost” and could not be located. They were never sent to the DPS lab, he said.
“We waited 8 and a half months to have our samples processed at a private lab,” she recalled. Another law enforcement agency took the samples, packaged them, filled out chain of custody of evidence affidavits, and sent them on their way.
They are now on file with the DPS. If any unidentified remains are recovered, they will be available for comparison.
So mote it be.