LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Mickey Patterson remains in an Oregon jail after being charged with two counts of first degree murder.
Two women went missing in August of 2006 while both were working at the Lubbock State School. Kay Harrelson's body was found just days later in a rural area near Shallowater.
Despite many search efforts, Peggy Merimon is still missing.
For about the past year the women's co-worker, Mickey Patterson, was called a person of interest by Lubbock Police.
Patterson remains in the Deschutes County Jail in Oregon. He is held there on two $5-million bonds. Deschutes County says the bond jumped from two $500,000 bonds to two $5-million bonds because they weren't sure if Texas might allow him to be released by posting 10 percent.
Mike Bowles is Peggy Merimon's brother-in-law and he learned of Mickey Patterson's arrest Wednesday afternoon."I have kind of mixed emotions, kind of so happy you could cry type situation, it was really good news," said Bowles.
Kay Harrelson's body was found, but never Merimon's, and her family has never stopped searching. "The last three years we have had countless searches trying to find Peggy and come up empty handed, waiting for the judicial system through its process right now we are just happy we are taking a step forward," said Bowles.
And so is Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell who says Patterson will now have his day in court. "Now we can get him in front of a jury and they can decide if he should be held accountable for these two deaths and that's what we ultimately want," said Powell.
The family filed a civil suit last year claiming Patterson lured the women from the state school, killed them and hid their bodies.
Bowles says he has no doubt Patterson has something to tell. "If we can get him in there and possibly question him a little bit, maybe he will just tell us where she's at, if not he is going to get what he's got coming to him," said Bowles.
Bowles believes that Wednesday's arrest is one day closer to getting some answers. "We just keep our faith in God and let the local law enforcement do their job," said Bowles.
Patterson will appear before an Oregon judge Thursday afternoon. He could be appointed an attorney at that time.
Patterson could be back in Lubbock in the next few days or could take up to several months depending on if he fights extradition.
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