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Family: Remains found at northeast Texas lake belonged to Carey Mae Parker

Divers found Carey Mae Parker's submerged vehicle near the White Point Causeway at Lake Tawakoni.
Brittany Gryder
Divers found Carey Mae Parker's submerged vehicle near the White Point Causeway at Lake Tawakoni.

Human remains found at Lake Tawakoni last fall have been matched to relatives of a northeast Texas woman who’s been missing since 1991.

That’s according to the three children of Carey Mae Parker, who announced in separate social media posts that DNA evidence helped to close the case.

“Today has been a roller coaster,” Parker’s daughter Brandy Hathcock wrote Tuesday in a Facebook post. “We finally get closure with DNA confirmation that the remains found with my mom’s car in October are her. We get her back and we get the opportunity to memorialize her like she deserves. She’s coming home!”

Parker’s other two other children made similar announcements.

Early last year, divers pulled wreckage of a 1980 Buick Skylark out of Lake Tawakoni. They returned in the fall and discovered human remains under the debris. The remains, which included bones, were sent to a lab for identification.

The successful dive, by an Oregon-based dive group called Adventures With Purpose, came several months after a Texas Department of Public Safety forensic dive team abandoned searches after spending one day in the water.

Calls to the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office weren’t immediately returned. Sheriff Terry Jones didn’t immediately respond to a message early Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the NAMUS missing person’s agency referred inquiries to a Hunt County detective no longer working with the sheriff’s office.

This is a developing story.

George Hale is a radio reporter for KETR and the host of its investigative podcast Buried.
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  • 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…
  • Carey Mae Parker has been missing from northeast Texas since 1991. People go missing every day, but there’s something unusual about Carey’s case. After two decades without answers, family members made a shocking discovery: Police never launched an investigation. Since June 2017, we've been searching for clues about Carey’s disappearance, and about the people who let it happen. Program note: in May 2019, Buried changed hosting providers and is now partnered with SimpleCast. Find every episode of Buried when you visit https://buried.simplecast.com.