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Monday, February 4, 2008

[GA] FINALLY! Fired Sgt Parker arrested for murder of Theresa

“It’s been a bittersweet day. It’s good, we are relieved and we feel like it is a step forward. Sam Parker was a member of our family for 17 years. It’s tough also too. We have got some of the best people in law enforcement working for us. I know we do and I believe it is those men that made this happen. They are wonderful..."
- Christina Hall
Sam Parker Arrested For Murder
NewsChannel 9
John Madewell
February 4, 2008
NewsChannel 9 has confirmed through law enforcement sources that Sam Parker, 52, has been arrested for the murder of his estranged wife, Theresa Parker. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Parker at his home at about 10 o'clock this morning without incident. The GBI informs us he has been moved to a jail outside of the Walker County area. This case has received tremendous publicity. Sam Parker was a 26-year law enforcement veteran, including rising to the rank of Sergeant at the LaFayette police department, before he was fired after his estranged wife disappearance. Theresa Parker has been missing since March 21, 2007. The GBI says today her body has still not been found. We just spoke with Theresa Parker's sister, Christina Hall. The news reached Hall about 30 minutes after the arrest. Hall said, "I was elated, I was happy. But on the other hand, I was sad. It hits pretty hard. I mean it makes it so real. He was a part of our family for 17 years." Walker County Georgia Sheriff Steve Wilson will hold a news conference at 4:00 PM today. Of course, NewsChannel 9 will have much more on this story as details develop.

Videos of current news:
[GA] Sister of slain cop's wife Theresa Parker
[GA] Arrest of Parker Press Conference Pt 1
[GA] Arrest of Parker Press Conference Pt 2
[GA] Arrest of Parker Press Conference Pt 3

Past Interviews with Sgt. Sam Parker:
Cop Husband of Missing Theresa Parker Speaks out (1)
(Parker says his wife got caught up in a mess, and imploded. He was fired during the investigation into Theresa's disappearance for having explosives in his work locker.)
Cop Husband of Missing Theresa - Extended interview(2)
[GA] Fired Sgt Sam Parker 2nd interview on public access
[GA] Fired Sgt Sam Parker 2nd interview - Excerpts
[GA] Fired Sgt Sam Parker interviews again on missing wife

Husband charged with murder of Theresa Parker
Walker County Messenger
Sam Parker, the only named “person of interest” in the March 2007 disappearance of his wife Theresa Parker, has been charged with murder. Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said Sam Parker, 52, was arrested at his residence by Walker County Sheriff's Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and FBI at 9:55 a.m. Monday. Capt. Mike Freeman with the Walker Sheriff’s Department said officials did not find Theresa’s body. Claire Careathers, Theresa Parker’s mother, said about Monday’s arrest, “It was a great day for my family, but sad for his (Sam Parker’s). I hope he will tell us where she is so we can bring her home so we can have closure. I know she’s out there somewhere and now it’s up to us to bring her home. We have to find her, that’s all there is to it”... Careathers said that she didn’t know of any new evidence that investigators where going on that led to the arrest. However, she did speculate that Ben Chaffin, who was charged in connection with her daughter’s disappearance, might have played a role in the arrest. According to Careathers, she was not surprised to learn of the arrest. “They have kept real quiet. They wouldn’t even tell the family anything... But they have been working around the clock to get this case closed”... Jonathan [Wilson, Theresa Parker’s brother-in-law] said he was awaiting word from his wife Hilda, Theresa’s sister, to find out if they will be traveling back to Walker County. “It is like my wife said, it kind of brings us to the realization that Theresa is gone. It gives us mixed emotions, because at least stuff is moving forward. He gets arraigned, and once he is convicted, it will be something. I wouldn’t say joyful, but it will be a relief for us to know that her death is not going (in vain). Justice is going to be served for it. He (Sam Parker) is innocent until the jury finds him guilty. I know they have a decent case, or they would not issue an arrest warrant. It is the first step of bringing closure, but we are still holding our breath because if he is not found guilty, it is not going to bring any closure to it,” he said. “We want to keep her alive in people’s minds.” Christina Hall, Theresa’s sister, said, “It makes me feel relieved. It is bitter sweet. It is really bitter sweet. It is something that we thought was going to happen, but this makes it more real. It makes you realize this is really all real. Very bitter sweet. I am happy. I want justice to be served now... I hope that we can find her and bring her home and that is our first priority now... It was a shock. We are just very glad that it (the arrest) happened. We hope that this will lead to finding her... Of course we have all cried this morning … The only word to sum it up is bittersweet... It is so good because we are hoping that this will lead to finding her, but then it is sad because it is hard to believe that it is our family going through this. And Sam was in our family for 17 years. It is just really sad... I want to thank everybody that’s been praying and supporting us. We have had so much support it has been unbelievable. People have been wonderful and I just want to tell them thank you so much and to keep praying that someone will tell us where she is and we can find her and bring her home”... Sam Parker was a sergeant with the LaFayette Police Department when his wife disappeared on March 21, 2007. He was later fired from that job after officials found explosives in his police locker. The Parkers were in the midst of divorce proceedings when she disappeared. Sam Parker has maintained that his wife left...

Sheriff says time was “right” to charge Parker

Walker County Messenger
Larry Brooks and Josh O'Bryant
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson, in an late-afternoon news conference Monday, said the time was simply “right” for arresting Sam Parker. "Nothing has changed,” Wilson told reporters. “This is the right time. The charges today were based on a collection of evidence from day one." Parker was arrested Monday morning at his home and booked into the Walker County jail on one count of murder... Wilson said that the priority of his department has and will continue to be to find Theresa Parker. "There will be no rest until then... We held out hope until now that she would be found alive. But reality tells us she is not”... Wilson said the case has been an unusual one, in that investigators have no body or murder weapon. He said the state does allow for a person to be brought to trial for murder without either. About a possible conviction, Wilson said, “It's been done." Wilson cited the 1993 case of White vs. the State of Georgia and the 2006 case of Hinton vs. the State of Georgia, in which convictions where brought in both cases. Christina Hall, Theresa Parker’s sister, said following Monday’s news conference, “Like I said, it is bittersweet. We are really pleased. They (investigators) have been really awe-some... All I could say is, if he knows where she is, let us know, let somebody know, help us bring her home. In some ways I feel like it’s going to happen and in other ways I think we may not ever find her,” Hall said. “It’s been a bittersweet day. It’s good, we are relieved and we feel like it is a step forward. Sam Parker was a member of our family for 17 years. It’s tough also too. We have got some of the best people in law enforcement working for us. I know we do and I believe it is those men that made this happen. They are wonderful, absolutely wonderful”... Hall said Theresa is on her mind every day and she is thankful to the public for their prayers and concerns. Claire Careathers, Theresa’s mother, said, “We need to bring her home and everybody have closure. It’s been going on for long enough.”
Previous entries on the blog:
More videos on Parker here


  1. Theresa Parker case timeline
    Walker County Messenger
    Tim Carlfeldt

    Sunday, March 4, 2007
    Sam Parker’s father Logan Marcellus Parker dies. His mother Evelyn Carroll Parker had died a year earlier. According to LaFayette attorney William Slack, a friend of Sam, the inheritance left Sam without any financial worries.

    Wednesday, March 21
    6:00 a.m. - Theresa gets off of work from Walker County 911 Center in Rock Spring. She is off until Saturday March 24. Both Sgt. Sam Parker and Cpl. Harbin “Ben” Chaffin are off their LaFayette Police shift on this Wednesday night.
    7:30 p.m. - Theresa and Sam see each other at their home 985 Cordell Ave. LaFayette, Georgia. Theresa’s sister Christina Hall reports that Theresa told her later that she and Sam argued, but did say that Sam had been uncharacteristically nice about the move by buying her boxes. After some time packing, Theresa heads for Ft. Oglethorpe to visit Christina and her boys.
    9:30 p.m. - Theresa leaves Christina’s. She had said Sam was supposed to stay in his father’s house in Trion that night, and she was going to clean her new apartment until after midnight, then go to the Cordell Ave. residence to sleep. The next morning she intended to pack her things and move.
    10:15 p.m. - Theresa is seen by a neighbor outside of her new apartment at 59 Flagstone Drive Ft. Oglethorpe talking on her cell phone.
    10:44 p.m. - Christina Hall noticed on her caller ID that a telephone call came from the Cordell Ave. residence. As it is some 26 miles away from Theresa’s new apartment, it is unlikely the call was from Theresa. Christina later asked Sam if he had made the call. He said no.

    Thursday, March 22
    12:00 a.m. - Theresa had planned to be at the Cordell Ave. house. Police have a cell phone call made from her phone “sometime after midnight” on March 22 that is the stated cause of the grid search days later (the cell tower that received the call is between Lafayette and Summerville).
    6:00 a.m. - Sam says he returned to the house to get a boat motor for his fishing trip with William Slack. He claims to have observed Theresa’s bedroom door closed and assumed she was asleep. He did not open the door to see if she was there.
    6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. - Sam is on a fishing trip with Slack, who reported that Sam said he was relieved to be getting a divorce from Theresa.
    3:00 p.m. - Sam returns to the Cordell Ave. residence and finds Theresa’s car at the residence but says later to investigators that she was not there. Her purse, overnight bag, and cell phone are missing.

    Friday, March 23
    Theresa and Sam have an appointment at the bank to split up their equity in the house. She does not show up.
    Theresa, who worked the 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. shift, was scheduled to be off work from the evening of Wednesday, March 21 through Sunday, March 25 to deal with her move to Fort Oglethorpe. She had scheduled the delivery of a washer and dryer from Lowes during this time and had reserved a U-Haul truck for Saturday, March 24.
    10:45 p.m. - Christina Hall calls Sam through 911 dispatch to ask if he knows the whereabouts of Theresa. Sam told the story about being at the house before the fishing trip and how he had not seen her since. This is also when he denied making the call on the evening of Wednesday, March 21 from the Cordell Ave. house to Christina’s house.

    Saturday, March 24
    As the case develops into a bona fide missing person situation, and as it involves public safety employees familiar to his staff, Sheriff Steve Wilson calls in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to assist.

    Monday, March 26
    Wilson says that more than 100 interviews have been conducted and subpoenas have been served for bank and phone records.

    Tuesday, March 27
    Walker County Sheriff’s Department coordinates a full-scale grid search of about five square miles around the Parker’s Cordell Ave. residence, but nothing is found.

    Saturday, March 31
    A 35-square-mile grid search in south Walker takes place with over 200 volunteers. Nothing of significance is found. At 5:00 p.m. GBI serves search warrant for the Parker home on Cordell Ave. Sheriff Wilson states that the basis for the search warrant is the development of leads and information obtained during the past seven days. Investigators also begin searching a pond adjacent to the Parker home with divers, and partially drain it to aid in this effort. In the days following, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is called in to aid the investigation. Other smaller-scale searches are conducted by FBI/GBI/WCSO.

    Tuesday, April 3
    11:00 a.m. - Officials finish draining and searching the pond off Cordell Ave. Again, nothing is found.

    Wednesday, April 4
    9:00 p.m. – LPD Cpl. Harbin “Ben” Chaffin is arrested for making false statements to investigators, a felony. Chaffin worked directly under Sam Parker, and Tommy Freeman, Director Public Safety reported that they were friends outside of work. GBI declines to state the nature or any specifics of Harbin’s statements. Harbin is suspended without pay from LPD.

    Thursday, April 5
    Sheriff Wilson says his hunch is that Theresa is within 25-mile radius of LaFayette. Says hunch is based on cell phone records. Sam is suspended without pay for “violations of department policies.”
    District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit disqualifies his office from possible prosecution of the Parker case. In a letter to the state attorney general Franklin revealed that people in his office had close working and personal relationships with Sam Parker. Franklin also wrote that “evidence gathered so far … suggests Theresa Parker may have been killed by Sam Parker.”

    Saturday, April 7
    Ben Chaffin released from jail on $5,000 bond. He hires LaFayette attorney David Cunningham.

    Tuesday, April 10
    Sam Parker informs GBI that he has hired an attorney, who advised him to refrain from speaking with investigators.

    Friday, April 13
    LaFayette Public Safety Director Tommy Freeman announces that Sam Parker has been fired from the Lafayette Police Department. Explosives found in Parker’s work locker during a search by the GBI are cited as the reason. Freeman says that the search revealed some blasting caps and a small amount of C-4 plastic explosive, and that Parker told him he had been issued the material by the department more than 12 years ago and has had it in his possession since that time.

    Saturday April 14
    Walker County 911 dispatches emergency personnel to Sam Parker’s Cordell Ave. home based on an anonymous caller that said Parker was brandishing a weapon and threatening to hurt himself. Sheriff Steve Wilson summoned Parker’s sister Carolyn Wooten to the scene. After several hours of talking with her, Wilson, and his personal physician, Parker is escorted from his house to an undisclosed location under the treatment of the physician. Wilson stated that Parker told him he was distraught over the pressure that investigators were subjecting him to and the loss of his job. Wilson said Parker did not brandish a weapon at anyone else and was only threatening to harm himself.

    Tuesday, May 22
    In an interview at the Cordell Ave. house with the Atlanta Fox 5 TV news, Sam Parker speaks publicly for the first time since his wife’s disappearance.
    Although the video is accessible on the Internet, Fox 5 reported that Parker insisted the interview not be broadcast on Chattanooga stations. He has not responded to numerous requests for an interview with the Walker County Messenger, and the Chattanooga Times-Free Press reported that he cancelled their interview on the advice of his attorney.

    Friday, May 25
    FBI agents conduct a “routine follow-up” search at the Cordell Road house of Sam Parker.

    Saturday, June 2
    One hundred volunteers turn out to search the Ridgeway area of south Walker County for evidence.

    Friday, June 22
    The GBI seeks more citizen help in the investigation, asking property owners in Walker, Catoosa and Chattooga counties to inspect hand-dug wells, cisterns, mine shafts, caves, abandoned buildings and any natural or manmade earth openings on their properties. The GBI releases the following list of items that Parker had on March 21:
    * Black Nextel flip phone
    * Large shoulder bag, maroon or dark brown
    * Yellow blouse with mid length sleeves and white trim
    * Blue jeans and brown leather sandals
    * Overnight bag

    Wednesday, July 25
    Harbin “Ben” Chaffin is arrested in Mobile, Ala. on charges related to the Parker case: tampering with evidence, violation of oath by public officer, computer invasion of privacy. Walker County Magistrate Judge Jerry Day denies District Attorney Leigh Patterson’s motion to deny bond, and Chaffin is released after posting $10,000.

    Monday, February 4, 2008
    Sam Parker is arrested and charged with the murder of Theresa Parker.


  2. New Charges Filed Against Sam Parker
    The Chattanoogan, TN
    posted February 5, 2008

    New charges were filed Tuesday against Sam Parker, who was charged Monday with the death of his wife, Theresa Parker.

    Parker faces new charges of making false statements, computer invasion of privacy and violation of oath by a public officer.

    The body of Ms. Parker, a Walker County 9-1-1 dispatcher, has been missing since last March.

    The couple had been in the process of going through a divorce.



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