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Divers find human remains during search for missing northeast Texas woman

Lake Tawakoni
Brittany Gryder
Lake Tawakoni

Divers at Lake Tawakoni say they have retrieved human remains during a search for a northeast Texas woman who’s been missing since 1991.

“I can confirm that we did recover human remains today out of the remaining debris pile” from Carey Mae Parker’s car, Jared Leisek said late Friday. “We will be back in the lake tomorrow working on recovering more of the remains.”

Leisek’s group — Bend, Oregon-based Adventures With Purpose — located parts of Parker’s vehicle during its original search at Lake Tawakoni in February.

His group’s divers returned Friday with different equipment in the hopes of locating more pieces of the car and any human remains.

Parker, a young mother of three who lived in the Waco Bay area of Lake Tawakoni, disappeared along with her car in early 1991. The spot where divers found the car in February and the remains Friday is near a causeway on Waco Bay.

The remains included a pelvis bone, Parker’s sister, Patricia Gager, wrote in a Facebook post.

“She will still have to be identified through DNA, but I have no other reason to believe (it’s) not her,” she added. “RIP Carey Mae. I love you so much!”

Parker fractured her pelvis in an accident years before she went missing. That injury could prove useful in identifying any intact remains.

Divers also found pants and a shoe that might have belonged to Parker as well as a bicycle she planned to give to her son, Gager said.

A sheriff’s deputy at Lake Tawakoni said the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office would issue a statement shortly. The office didn’t immediately return calls late Friday.

Adventures With Purpose found Parker’s 1980 Buick Skylark in February, and the group agreed to return to Texas with different equipment in the fall. Other searches by Department of Public Safety divers earlier this year were unsuccessful.

Leisek said that the group would remain in the area after Saturday to help search for Roszan Payne, a different woman missing from Hunt County.

Mark Haslett contributed to this report.

George Hale is a radio reporter for KETR and the host of its investigative podcast Buried.
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