Headless Female Body Found Near Shallowater - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/20/06

Headless Female Body Found Near Shallowater

"This is what keeps us going, being productive and searching. We have to do something."  An un-official search leads a group of volunteers to the body of a woman, and a possible break in the case of two missing Lubbock women.

A female body was found about ten miles away from the Lubbock State School, in a field near Shallowater on FM 179 and County Road 6000 around 11:30 Sunday morning. It has not yet been identified and there are a few things that are making the identification process difficult. There was not a head on the body. We're also told it was mutilated, but investigators aren't sure if that came from an animal or another cause. It also appears the body has been there for eight to ten days.

It has been 11 days since 61-year-old Peggy Merimon, and 51-year-old Kay Harrelson disappeared. The two women were last seen getting into a car with a middle-aged man, in the parking lot of the Lubbock State School where both are employees.

NewsChannel 11 spoke with one of the missing women's husband who told us the body is not his wife.

Peggy Merimon's husband saw the body moments after it was discovered, and said there was no recognizable mark that it could be Peggy. The body was found in a bar ditch by a family friend riding an ATV. He was one of many volunteers in the un-official search organized by family members. We're told the man first drove by the ditch, but on the way back saw the decomposed body, wearing nothing but rings, men's underwear, and a bloody shirt.

The story begins at eight o'clock Sunday morning. Family members of the two missing women organize a massive search using volunteers from the community.  One volunteers, on horseback, said "I heard on TV (that they) needed help with search and (I) told wife I'd get ready and see if we could be some help."  Another man added, "I don't know them. I heard about them on the media, and I feel this is the right thing to do."

140 people broke into groups, covering a 25-mile radius to help find any clue that might lead the women home. 

Then at 11:30 a.m., a possible break in the case.  Captain Don Carter with LSO said, "one of the members of the search party that was organized by the family was the person that found the remains."

A family friend riding an ATV sees a headless body, and immediately calls police.  The leader of the search team said, "they came and secured the crime scene, we did all we could do."

And doing all they could do lead investigators to possibly one of the missing ladies, and at the least, will give some family, somewhere, some closure.

Tonight, the body is at the Lubbock medical examiner's office, where they hope to identify it by tomorrow. Thanks to the efforts of the volunteer-search, investigators now tell us they, too, are planning another search.

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