Tonight, one Lubbock family is grieving for their lost loved one, while another is trying to hold on to hope.
Dental records confirm the body found in a bar ditch near Shallowater is 51-year-old Kay Harrelson, one of the two Lubbock women that went missing 12 days ago from the Lubbock State School. 61-year-old Peggy Merimon is still missing.
Peggy Merimon's family organized a search Sunday, not knowing they would find a body. Police now tell us the search in this area for evidence and Peggy Merimon will intensify. But even after one night's rain, the muddy weather could hurt any evidence still on scene.
A group of volunteer searchers, found the body yesterday, it was badly mutilated. The head was detached from the body but found nearby. Investigators believe that mutilation most likely came from animals. They think the body had been lying there for eight to ten days.
Earlier Monday, investigators were at the scene again taking pictures, and re-tracing steps trying to find any other evidence that can lead them to a suspect. DPS helicopters flew over the Lubbock State School area taking aerial photos and looking for anything suspicious.
There's still a big question in this case...how Kay Harrelson died. An autopsy began Monday morning and should answer that question. But now, police say they have two investigations, the death of Kay Harrelson and the ongoing missing person's search for Peggy Merimon. Lt. Scott Hudgens with LPD says, "on either case in Ms. Merimon's or Ms. Harrelson's, we welcome clues or tips if anybody has any information on either case." That number to call is 741-1000.
And it's important you do call. Tips led police to a person of interest last week. That person looked similar to the suspect, the man Peggy and Kay were last seen getting into a car with. The person was questioned and we are still waiting on DNA evidence from the DPS crime lab.
Although they cannot comment on the case, investigators have said they believe Harrelson died before she was dropped in the bar ditch. The medical examiner's office started the autopsy this morning, but we are still waiting on the preliminary results for the cause of her death.
Meanwhile, the other half of this missing women story continues, and family members ask for your tips to keep coming in. Peggy Merimon's family was devastated to hear the news about Kay Harrelson. But, the family is keeping their hopes high, and asking for everyone to keep looking for Peggy. Natosha Davis, Peggy's daughter says, "my mother is still out there, we still miss her and still want her home and we want her to know we love her and we want her home."
The family is organizing another search this weekend, and we'll have more details later in the week.