TIMELINE: Mickey Patterson case - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

TIMELINE: Mickey Patterson case

Tuesday's testimony in Mickey Patterson's murder trial, was the culmination of a 5 year investigation.  Kay Harrelson and Peggy Merimon disappeared in August 2006 and for the months and years that followed, investigators searched for their bodies - and for answers.

When the women went missing, searchers immediately began combing the county searching for them.  Their families pleaded for their safe return.

"We continue to do everything the police ask us to do and we do everything we know to do," Harrelson's husband, Danny Harrelson said.

Eleven days after Harrelson went missing, searchers found her body in a bar ditch near Shallowater.  However, in the months that followed, there was still no sign of her friend Peggy.

As the investigation continued police released a sketch of a man who they believed was the last person to see the women alive.  Family members hoped the release of the sketch would help track down Merimon, and ultimately, her killer.

"We're believing that's going to be crucial to the investigation and bring the person responsible for this to justice," Merimon's son, Dooley Appleton said.

After the sketch was released, detectives began questioning Mickey Patterson - a co-worker of Merimon and Harrelson.  Investigators called Patterson a suspect, but no arrests were made. Merimon remained missing.

"We know in the back of our minds, she's not coming home.  But, we'd like to find her and have some sort of peace," Merimon's husband, Gearl Merimon said.

Together, the families of the women filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Patterson in August 2008.  It alleged that Patterson lured the women from the Lubbock State School, held them against their will, killed them, and hid their bodies.  

In September 2009, police arrested Patterson.  He was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Harrelson and Merimon, even though only one body had been found.

As police took him into custody, a reporter on the scene asked Patterson what he had to say to the families of his alleged victim.  He said, "I feel sorry for them."

The search for Peggy Merimon ended 8 months after Patterson's arrest, when searchers found her in North Lubbock County.  She was found 12 miles from where Harrelson was discovered.

Aug. 2006 - Missing women's families ask for nationwide help

Aug. 2006 - Medical examiner identifies body of Kay Harrelson

July 2007 - Merimon search efforts continue

Aug. 2007 - Merimon suspect fired from Lubbock State School

Aug. 2008 - Mickey Patterson named in civil suit

Sept. 2009 - Patterson arrested on murder charges

May 2010 - Remains identified as Peggy Merimon

Sept. 12, 2011 - Mickey Patterson trial begins

Sept. 13, 2011 - Patterson jury shown photos of Harrelson's remains

Sept. 14, 2011 - Witness: Patterson 'reclusive, cranky, and very short tempered'

Sept. 15, 2011 - Forensic scientist says DNA samples do not match Patterson

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