By Erin Jones

TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – After 30 years, a Hunt County woman is finally getting the answers she’s been looking for in her sister’s missing persons case. It’s all thanks to search and recovery team out of Oregon — Adventures With Purpose.

On March 17, 1991, 23 year-old Carey Parker left her job in Quinlan, Texas and was never seen again.

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“If I ever got one tip… I was on it,” Parker’s sister Trish Gager said. “I was determined and in a lot of ways, I feel like Cary was inside of me driving me.”

For the last 30 years, Gager searched for her sister and for most of that time, she has felt alone.

“I’ve been very angry most of my life because I feel nobody looked for her,” she said. “She hadn’t been looked for in 30 years.”

That is, until Adventures With Purpose recently came across her sister’s case. The organization travels the country offering their free car recovery services for these situations.

“So they told me… they said… go ahead and figure out in your gut where you think that we should look,” said Gager.

She recommended searching Lake Tawakoni, which is near a road her sister would take home from work. So last week, they started there in one specific area.

“It was basically the only place we had to search because the wind was too rough,” said Gager.

“And while we were doing that on our sonar just this car popped up and there’s nothing really surrounding it and when that happens we call it the feeling,” Adventures With Purpose‘s Dan Schmidt said.

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They started pulling out parts.

“They put the bumper in the car and I looked at it, compared it to her car, in the 80s and I said ‘oh my God this is going to be her car,’ ” Gager said. “They said it went to a 1980 Buick Skylark. That’s when it hit me that it was hers.”

Along with the car they found a sticker stuck there by Parker’s son who is now a grown man.

“Her son actually was very into the Smurfs when he was five years old, which is when she went missing,” Schmidt said. “He was actually on scene later in the day and one of the parts that we pulled off of the vehicle had a little Smurf sticker we didn’t notice until he showed up.”

“You could see the initial wave of emotion going over them,” Adventures With Purpose’s Sam Ginn said. “You know after you know… over 25 years of wondering, 25 years of questioning, 25 years of not knowing.”

“I truly believe it was by Carey’s interaction with the wind,” Gager said. “She said I’m right here.”

Although her sister’s body was not found and it’s still unclear what exactly happened to her, Adventures With Purpose finally gave Gager the answers she’s been looking for.

“They gave me the relief from all the anger that I’ve had all this time,” she said. “They gave me a gift and I want this gift to go to others that have been in the same situation.”


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Erin Jones