Who is the Person of Interest in the Two Year Old Investigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/5/08

Who is the Person of Interest in the Two Year Old Investigation

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The families of both Peggy Merimon and Kay Harrelson are suing Mickey Patterson claiming he lured them both away from their job at the Lubbock State School, held them against their will and eventually killed them. Kay Harrelson's body was found a few days after the women disappeared on August 9th, 2006. Peggy Merimon is still missing.

The man who has been searching for Peggy since the beginning is speaking to NewsChannel 11 about these new developments. 

Gary Pringle, who has worked in law enforcement, has volunteered and led many searches for Peggy Merimon. He has done extensive research into the Merimon and Harrelson case. He believes Mickey Patterson is responsible for both women's deaths.

"An innocent man would have come forward and taken a polygraph test when I offered to pay for it.  We didn't hear one word from Mickey Patterson," said Pringle. 

Lubbock Police have never named him as a suspect in this case, but we have learned through sources that Patterson was questioned in the case and released. A sketch was later released as the person of interest.  Witnesses have said the sketch does look like Patterson today. Pringle says he hopes to find Merimon's body to bring closure to the family. 

"If you are around them you see the suffering they are going through and it's intense and it's real.  Her husband goes to bed every night not knowing where his wife of 23-years is and that's got to be devastating," said Pringle. 

But who is Mickey Patterson?  We know he is 58-years-old and still lives in Lubbock.

We've also confirmed that Patterson was an employee of the Lubbock State School from 1989 to 2007.

He worked with Merimon and Harrelson at the time of their disappearance. He was fired in August of 2007, after being on administrative leave for almost a year.

"It is the most difficult case I've ever had," said Pringle.    

NewsChannel 11 dug up a restraining order that Patterson's second wife filed against him in 2006 before the women's disappearance. It says that he has committed family violence against his wife or members of his family and that family violence is likely to occur in the future. 

"He is a good at beating up women, but a coward when it comes to men," said Pringle. 

If you know anything that can help investigators crack this case, you're asked to call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000.

NewsChannel 11 has been unsuccessful in contacting Mickey Patterson, but we do want to give him a chance to tell his side of the story. If you know Patterson, we welcome a phone call here at NewsChannel 11. 

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