I remember this story being profiled on "Unsolved Mysteries" some years back...it was profiled again on America's Most Wanted and bingo...another mystery at least partially solved!
The wife of a deputy prison warden who vanished 10 years ago with an escaped killer told authorities after she was found that he had held her captive the whole time, a federal agent said Tuesday.
A tip generated by the TV show "America's Most Wanted" led law enforcement to a mobile home in Campti, Texas, where escaped convict Randolph Dial was arrested Monday, said Salvador Hernandez, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oklahoma.
The assistant warden's wife, Bobbi Parker, 42, was found a short time later working at a chicken farm not far from Campti, agents said. They were living together in the same trailer and she had stayed with Dial out of fear for her family, Hernandez said.
She was later reunited with her husband, Randy, with FBI agents present who "said the reunion went well," he said. The couple have two daughters.
Dial, a sculptor and painter, was convicted of the 1981 murder of a karate instructor. He had obtained trusty status at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite in southwestern Oklahoma, and he ran an inmate pottery program with Bobbi Parker and had access to their home, in staff housing on prison grounds, during the day.
The morning of Bobbi Parker's disappearance in August 1994, her husband saw Dial working in his garage, where there was a kiln for firing pottery, as he left.
When he returned for lunch, he found a note from his wife saying she went grocery shopping. When his wife had not returned home that evening, Randy Parker called the prison and discovered Dial also was missing.
Bobbi Parker's mother received a phone call from her later that night traced to Hurst, Texas. "I can't talk now," she said, crying. "I'm OK. Tell the kids I'll see them soon."
A day later, she made a second call, this time from Fort Worth to a friend. It was the last message her family got from her. "I've got 30 seconds to talk," she said. "I want you to call my home. Tell the kids I love them and I'll be home soon."
Randy Parker is now warden at the William S. Key Correctional Center at Fort Supply in northwestern Oklahoma. A spokesman at the prison said Parker did not want to comment.
Shelby County Sheriff Newton Johnson had said earlier that the woman wanted to stay on the farm in Texas, but Hernandez said this was a misinterpretation. Hernandez said he believes the sheriff's comment arose from comments she made thanking people as she was leaving the farm.
Hernandez said that while it is unusual for someone to be held against one's will for so long, it is not unprecedented.
"There have been cases of this kind and typically this will result when someone believes family members might be in danger," Hernandez said. They were living under the assumed names Richard and Samantha Deahl.
In 2000, Randy Parker said his wife was not afraid of Dial, but was not "overly friendly" toward him. Dial is "personable," yet conniving, he said then. "I always saw him as a coward, just an absolute coward," Parker said. "He always tried to run a con on people."