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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

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Search continues for missing teacher, her son



LIVINGSTON — The search continues for missing retired Chester teacher Lettie Fisher and her son John Fisher Jr. who were last seen on security video at a Corrigan area convenience store on Sept. 19. Shortly before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, a 10-car caravan of investigators fanned out along Hwy. 287 from the Fisher residence in Chester to the Woodville city limits in search of any sign of the missing Polk County residents. Tuesday’s search party included all detectives in the Polk C o u n t y Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigation and Narcotics divisions and Texas R a n g e r Ron Duff, according to Lt. Craig Finegan. A n i m a l C o n t r o l O f f i c e r C r y s t a l Rogers was leading four officers on horseback on a search of otherwise inaccessible areas. “We’re checking every creek, bridge … anyplace that looks like someplace someone could stop and throw something out,” Finegan said. Finegan added that investigators in Polk and Tyler County are following up on every possible theory for what could have happened to missing pair. Sheriff Kenneth Hammack said Monday that John Fisher Sr., the husband and father of the missing persons, had passed a voluntary polygraph test, confirming his statements that he had no idea where his wife and son were. In a press conference on Oct. 4, John Fisher Sr. pleaded with anyone involved in the disappearance. “If you have my family in captivity, please just set them free … put them out on the road and we will get them home,” Mr. Fisher said. Finegan said Tuesday there were no signs of home invasion at the Fisher residence in Chester, just inside the Polk County line, but investigators are pursuing abduction as a possibility, “just in case someone caught them at their house,” Finegan said. Detectives have not found any signs that the Fishers disappeared voluntarily, according to Finegan. “We are monitoring bank accounts at four different banks and there has been no activity. Her driver’s license and the debit card she normally carried have not been found,” Finegan said. “We are also monitoring player’s accounts at casinos in Louisiana.” Investigators are researching older bank records and credit card accounts for any clue to the Fishers’ location. Tyler County Sheriff David Hennigan said investigators with his department have reviewed videotape from Missouri after they received a tip that the pair had been seen there. “It was an honest mistake by someone who thought they saw them,” Hennigan said. Employees at a Lufkin bank believed they saw the Fishers at the drive-thru teller window. Security video has been reviewed but detectives could not see the occupants of the vehicle well enough to identify them. Detectives have been able to recreate a time line of the Fishers’ activities up to the time of their disappearance. On the morning of Sept. 19, Lettie and John Fisher Jr. left their home on Hwy. 287 and drove to Memorial Medical Center-Lufkin where John Fisher Sr. said Lettie had an X-ray to ensure a port-a-cath device implanted as part of her treatment for breast cancer remained in place. Hospital security video shows the Fishers leaving the hospital and a witness saw their vehicle traveling west on Hwy. 287 in Polk County at about 12:30 p.m. The clothes they were wearing in the hospital security video were found at their home. Detectives believe they changed clothes and loaded fishing equipment into their Toyota Four-Runner. At about 1:25 p.m. video obtained from a convenience store at the intersection of U.S. 190 and Hwy. 92 shows a vehicle fitting the description of the Fisher’s vehicle is seen traveling in the direction of Magnolia Ridge State Park. A park employee noticed the vehicle at the park later in the day. That employee went off duty for two days. When the vehicle had not moved when the park ranger returned to work, she called the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office. TCSO conducted an extensive three-day search of the park area with the assistance of Texas Equusearch. No sign of the Fishers or any of their fishing equipment was found. The vehicle was towed to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and was examined by technicians with the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab on Oct. 4. Anyone with information that could assist in locating the Fishers is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-327-6810 or the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office at 409-283-2172. Detectives with both department’s are describing the disappearance as an “incident” and add that with the absence of any evidence that the Fishers were abducted, other Chester residents should not be fearful. “It’s like they fell off the face of the earth,” said Tyler County lead investigator Bud Sturrock. “We’re exploring every possibility,” Finegan said. “I lay in bed at night and just pray and cry that they will be brought home,” Fisher Sr. “I can’t even go to church. Every Wednesday night, my son would be sitting on one side of me and my wife on the other.”


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