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Carey Mae Parker's Car Recovered At Lake Tawakoni

Carrie Mae Parker, at right, has been missing since 1991.
Courtesy of Brian Parker
Carrie Mae Parker, at right, has been missing since 1991.

The car of Carrie Mae Parker, a Hunt County woman missing since 1991, was recovered from Lake Tawakoni on Thursday, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office said in a release Friday morning.

The finding marks the most significant advance made in the case of Parker, whose story was made into a KETR podcast, Buried, which helped spark a revival of interest in Parker’s case, both in law enforcement and around the region.

Parker was 23 years old at the time of her disappearance in March 1991.

Newscast transcript:

It’s been 30 years since a young woman from Northeast Texas disappeared seemingly without a trace from the Lake Tawakoni area near Quinlan. Yesterday, a big piece of evidence emerged from the lake. George Hale has been covering the story for KETR, and he has this report. 

Carey Mae Parker’s family lived 10 minutes from the White Point Causeway on the southwest edge of Lake Tawakoni near Quinlan. When she disappeared in 1991, relatives said she was driving a 1980 Buick Skylark and staying with friends on the other side of Waco Bay. 
Waco Bay is where authorities believe that car rested underwater for years — until yesterday, when authorities shut down the causeway to lift parts of the Buick from the waters. Searchers used a crane to help lift the vehicle. 
The news was first reported by a Facebook news page called Hunt County Theft Reports. 
This morning, Hunt County authorities said an Oregon-based group called Adventures with Purpose helped locate the vehicle and pull pieces from the water. There was no immediate word if remains were found inside. 
In an emailed statement, Hunt Co. Sheriff Terry Jones thanked Parker’s family for their “persistence and drive” to find answers. 
Sheriff’s deputies are now examining the vehicle for additional evidence.
The last major search was two years ago, also near the causeway. Sheriff’s deputies and a canine search group spent a long weekend in January 2019 scouring land linked to Parker, including her late father’s property. That search seemed to rule out claims her late father made about burying bodies in the area. 
For KETR News, I’m George Hale in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.