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Body of missing 911 dispatcher found years later

By Aaron Cooper, CNN
  • Theresa Parker was last seen leaving her sister's house
  • She disappeared in 2007
  • Cause of death has not been determined so far

(CNN) -- Authorities say the remains of a missing 911 dispatcher have been found nearly 3 1/2 years after her disappearance.

Theresa Parker was last seen leaving her sister's house on March 21, 2007, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

Parker, who was 41 at the time, worked as an emergency dispatcher for Walker County in northwest Georgia.

Her disappearance was widely covered in the media as hundreds of people searched for her.

Sheriff John Everett of neighboring Chattooga County in Georgia said a farmer there discovered a jaw bone on Monday.

He reported his discovery to authorities, who found more remains.

The bones were in a wooded area near a river close to the Alabama border -- about 25 miles from the Walker County line.

Dental records confirmed the remains were Theresa Parker, Everett said.

Sam Parker, Theresa's husband and a former police sergeant, is in jail for her murder.

He was convicted last year, even though her body had not been found.

Jerry Scott of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday at a news conference that the jury that convicted Parker should feel justified in its decision.

"There have been a lot of rumors going around that Theresa had left the country, but now those 12 people will realize they did the right thing."

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson informed Theresa Parker's family that her remains had been found.

"It's been a long 3 1/2 years," he said. "They are glad to finally be able to bring her home."

Leigh Patterson who prosecuted the murder case said the family needed that closure.

"Even now, even when they were told today, I think they had still held out hope that she might come back. "

Everett says investigators are continuing to examine the remains.

So far, no official cause of death has been determined.