Investigators hope found human bones could close high profile case - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/9/10

Investigators hope found human bones could close high profile case

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Brittany Pieper  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Saturday night one mans search for wildlife turned into a full blown Sheriff's investigation. The man found part of a human skull and called 9-1-1. The Lubbock Sheriff's Office sent about 30 people out there to recover bones from the area at County Road 5200 and Frankford, near the Lubbock landfill.

Investigators did determine they were human remains. Now the big question remains, whose bones are they? It's still too early to tell if they'll even be able to get a positive identification from the bones, but the Lubbock Sheriff's Office hopes the discovery will help them close one of Lubbock County's 2 high profile missing person cases.

Peggy Merrimon and Jennifer Wilkerson are 2 names every Lubbock Sheriff's Officer knows all too well. Both women went missing, and both cases are still unsolved.  However, Saturday afternoon Lubbock County Sheriff's Deputies uncovered what they hope may be the answer to one of those cases. "Of course we're hopeful. Anytime you have open cases and find evidence that could be linked to one of those cases you're hopeful that's what you have," said Chief Deputy Cody Scott. 

Twenty six year old Jennifer Wilkerson disappeared on July 13th, 2004. She was last seen leaving her boyfriend's house that morning. Since then, detectives have followed 100s of leads, but still have not found her body. Her mother, Vikki Wilkerson,  told NewsChannel 11 last year she just wants to know where her daughter is, dead or alive. "So we can put our minds and hearts to rest and find her," she said. 

Then, in August of 2006 Peggy Merrimon and Kay Harrelson disappeared from the Lubbock State School where they worked. Searchers found Harrelson's body 11 days later, about 12 to 15 miles from where the bones were found this weekend. The search parties for Merrimon continued for months after the discovery. Her husband, Geral, still has not stopped searching.

In September of 2009 police arrested their co-worker Mickey Patterson in Oregon. He was brought back to Lubbock and charged with the murders of both Harrelson and Merrimon. Last year Geral told us that all he wants is to find his wife's body "That's always been out greatest hope. That he'll tell us where she's at and we can bring her home."

Years after the women's disappearances, on Saturday May 8th, 2010, investigators spent hours digging up evidence, without knowing exactly what they were finding. "We were literally on our hands and knees clearing an area and looking for any evidence that we could find," said Scott. Now, the investigation of the mysterious remains lies in the hands of the Medical Examiner who will determine gender, and possibly an identity. The Sheriff's Office did say they found other evidence, but would not say what that was.

We called Geral Merrimon today, but he wasn't allowed to interview with us because Mickey Patterson's trial is just weeks away.

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