By Chloe Morrison
LaFAYETTE, Ga. -- Sam Parker, the LaFayette Police Department sergeant who is a "person of interest" in the investigation of his wife's disappearance, was fired today for having plastic explosives stored in his locker at the police station, Director of Public Safety Tommy Freeman said.
Mr. Parker had been on unpaid leave.
He is the estranged husband of missing Walker County 911 Theresa Parker, who was last seen on March 21. Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials said he is a "person of interest" in the case.
But Mr. Freeman stressed that Mr. Parker's dismissal has nothing to do with the disappearance of Mrs. Parker. It did, however, stem from a GBI did search of Mr. Parker's police department locker in connection with Mrs. Parker's disappearance.
Until today's action, Mr. Parker had been suspended without pay, officials said.
Mr. Freeman said he questioned Mr. Parker, who said the C4 plastic explosives and blasting caps belonged to the police department and he was storing them.
Mr. Freeman said he found no evidence that the explosives belonged to the department and in his 32 years in law enforcement he had never heard of a police department buying plastic explosives. None of the LaFayette police officers are trained to handle such explosives, he said.
Possession of the explosives violated police department policy and state law, Mr. Freeman said.
Mr. Freeman said "no one is above the law" and unlawful behavior will not be tolerated in the department.
E-mail Chloe Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
See tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press for complete coverage.