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Theresa Parker Disappearance: Sam Parker Arrested

Sam Parker, long a person of interest in the March 21, 2007 disappearance of his wife, 911 dispatcher Theresa Parker, has been arrested in Walker County, Georgia.

The Parkers had domestic issues prior to Theresa’s disappearance, and police had been called to the Parker residence after disputes got out of hand in 2002 and 2004. After Theresa vanished it became obvious that Sam was the focus of police attention. Suspicions about the Lafayette GA police sergeant grew more intense when he was fired from his job after his wife vanished. Parker had been keeping explosives in his locker at the police station.

Sam Parker’s family stood by him when the press attention on his wife’s disappearance became intense. One of his siblings even blogged about the case from time to time. On March 26, 5 days after Theresa was last heard from, Sam Parker’s sister (not linking her blog at this time) posted a cut & paste of a news article about the disappearance and addressed her readers, writing, “This is not a joke. This is my brother’s wife […] She has simply vanished. We don’t know why she is gone…but it is devistating. You see posters with photos and captions that ask for you to help find someone. It’s just another face, just another person who is missing. This one hits home. This is my sister-in-law. This is someone I love.”

Parker’s sister gave a naturally sympathetic portrait of her brother. In a post made in January, 2006, she related a heart-to-heart she’d had with him around Christmas, 2005, where Parker addressed issues he seemed to know he had. Parker sounded penitent, to hear his sister tell the story, and ready to start over. His sister explained some of what Sam Parker had been through:

He has carried too much baggage. The weight has often been more than he could bear […] We clung together and faced these trials as a family. [My brother] just handled it differently. He kept his anger inside. He let hate build a nest in his heart. He was not in control and he couldn’t accept that. Alcohol didn’t take away the pain, it seemed to intensify it and add to the problem…

Later in the post, Parker’s sister wrote hopefully about the change she felt she saw in the man: “Since October 1996 I have asked God to take away the self-destructive person that moved inside [my brother’s] body. Finally, finally…Christmas 2005 the answer came. It slipped in quietly and provided peace in a war-torn heart. It gave strength to fight a battle and win a war to a weakened soldier…”

It is hard to read what Sam Parker’s sister has written and not feel great sympathy for her and his family in general. Posts made in the blog after Theresa’s disappearance in general indicated nothing but faith in Parker’s innocence and dismay that he was a suspect.

Though Theresa Parker’s remains have not been found, Sam Parker has been charged with one count of murder.

(Thanks to Eyes for Lies for the heads-up about this case.)