LAFAYETTE, Ga. – Investigators searching for missing Georgia 911 dispatcher Teresa Parker are planning a massive ground search Saturday in hopes of tracking down the 41-year-old woman who disappeared nine days ago without a trace.
Meanwhile, the patrol car of Parker's husband, Sam, was routinely turned over to the Walker County Sheriff's Department, then to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, to be examined, FOXNews.com has confirmed. Sam Parker is a sergeant with the LaFayette, Ga., police department. The couple was in the midst of a divorce when Teresa vanished.
"The car was brought in yesterday and the chief of police turned that vehicle over to us to examine, the GBI to examine, to look at more for investigative purposes, whether to rule in or rule out the fact that that car could've been used. We're not saying that car was used," Walker County Sheriff Steve said Friday.
The car was being released back to the Lafayette police on Friday.
Wilson noted that Parker has now been missing for nine days, and the more time that goes on, the lesser likely it is that authorities will find her alive.
"Certainly you have to look at that and believe that at this stage of the investigation," Wilson said. "At some point, obviously, we will maybe change the focus of this investigation probably from a missing person to possibly a death investigation of some sort if the evidence leads us this way. We are deploy concerned now that we're into the ninth day and we haven't located Teresa Parker."
Friday was spent conducting more interviews and making plans for a full-scale ground search to be launched Saturday morning that will focus on the southern end of Walker County, where Parker last used her cell phone to call her family on March 21, Wilson told FOXNews.com. They will use professional search and rescue officials, as well as volunteers, to cover the 30- to 40-mile area. They have no solid leads so far, Wilson said.
"It is quite a large area for us to be tackling tomorrow … we know the general area where her cell phone was last used at, so we've been able to kind of get a general area as to where that cell phone was, so as a general rule, putting two and two together, obviously that's a place to start," Wilson said. "It's still almost like looking for a needle in the old haystack."
There is no evidence pointing to another man in Parker's life, Wilson said, and there has been no use of her credit or debit cards since she disappeared. Her husband indicated her purse and an overnight bag were missing from the house she was living in, but besides that, the residence was immaculate.
Family and friends gathered for a candlelight prayer vigil for Theresa Thursday night. At 4:30 p.m. Friday, Parker's family will hold another vigil at the Walker County courthouse.
Parker disappeared nine days ago. Searchers found her car in her driveway, and tracked her last cell phone call, but they still have no sign of the 41-year old. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the case.
Records show at least three domestic violence reports between Parker and her husband since 2002, according to local news reports.
Sam Parker had moved out of the home he and his wife once shared, and Teresa was in the midst of moving to a neighboring town when she disappeared. Sam has not been named a suspect and has been interviewed several times by investigators.
"He's been cooperative so far, so far has answered our questions," Wilson told FOXNews.com earlier this week. "At this point I would not classify him as a suspect, he's certainly been cooperative but on the flip side, we have not eliminated anyone as a suspect, either."
Sam Parker was fishing with LaFayette attorney Bill Slack the same time on Wednesday when Theresa's family last saw her, reported The Walker County Messenger. Slack had represented Theresa and others in her family in the past. He said Sam was acting completely normal, and seemed relieved that the divorce was going through.
The death of both of Sam's parents within the last year left him with no financial worries. The terms of divorce had been established, the property had been divided and the papers were reportedly ready to be filed any day, Slack told the newspaper.
"It was done," Slack said. "There was no more fussing or anything. It was all done. That part of his life was over."
Slack said he knew the couple had their problems, but didn't suspect violence was ever an issue. He also said Sam has willingly complied with the investigation into his wife's disappearance, and that his house, car, father's house and wife's car have all been searched. He even turned over his bank and phone records and had his clothes and body tested for fluids.
"I'd like to think they've exhausted any probability that Sam was involved because there seems to be nothing to point to him physically, motive-wise, opportunity. Nothing," Slack told the newspaper. "If Sam had anything to do with her disappearance it would be an absolute shock to me."
He added: "They've done everything you can think of and there is nothing to tie him to her (disappearance). He doesn't know where she is and he certainly didn't harm her. He had no reason to harm her."
Relatives of Teresa Parker's contacted the Walker County sheriff's office on Saturday. She was last heard from about 10 p.m. Wednesday when she talked on the phone with her sister, Wilson said. It was Parker's habit to talk to her mother or other relatives at least once a day.
"Obviously this is totally uncharacteristic for her. ... She's always been a very punctual type person who is very dedicated to her job, her family," Wilson told FOXNews.com.
No one at the 911 dispatch center noticed her absence, Wilson said, because she was scheduled to be off work. But she failed to show up Monday for her 7 p.m. shift.
"We knew then, we're just very, very concerned at this point because this is just not typical for her," Wilson said.
The case was turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation because of the close ties between Parker and the local authorities, Wilson said. She has been a 911 operator for about 15 years, and worked as a police emergency dispatcher before that.
Wilson, who knows her personally, described her as a "very knowledgeable, very thorough employee, a very likeable person."