Dalton neighbors remember victims, suspects in family slaying

photo Douglas Glenn Parker

Neighbors have wildly different opinions of Doug Parker. Some say he was kind, personable and helpful; others were downright afraid of him.

"He kind of gave me the creeps," said Mary McHan, who lived next door to Parker's mobile home in Dalton, Ga.

Sarah Young said her dogs would raise their hackles whenever Parker was around.

On Saturday, Parker, 54, was arrested in Murphy, N.C., and charged with two counts of murder, accused of killing his mother and sister, Edna Sue Fields, 71, and Rebecka June Wade, 45. Both were found in Fields' home on Friday evening in Ranger, Ga.

Also on Saturday, his wife, Janet Kay Parker, was arrested in Cherokee County, N.C., for trafficking in opium or heroin and was set to be extradited to Georgia. Douglas Parker was arrested later that day, also on a charge of trafficking opium or heroin, and is also is slated to be returned to Georgia.

But the woman who owns the property where the Parkers kept their trailer remembered Doug fondly, saying he visited her, did her yardwork and would visit at any hour of the night to help care for her husband after he had a stroke.

"Doug was a likable person. ... I was flabbergasted [to hear of the shootings], and so was everyone else around," said the property owner, who asked not to be named because she doesn't want her property associated with a crime.

Young, who lived down the street from Fields, said Doug Parker had been living with his mother for about six months. Whenever he was outside, her adult daughter, Bessie Coleman, would go inside.

"He acted real strange," Young said.

"Daddy said he didn't seem quite right in the head," Coleman added.

McHan said the trailer and shed owned by the Parkers had a strange, offensive odor. The Parkers didn't live there as much as store things there she said, and she's suspicious about what was inside. The Parkers kept their shed under lock and key and approached McHan's family a month or two ago, upset that someone had robbed it.

Young said that when she heard police at Fields' house on Friday night, she initially thought it was a drug bust.

On Monday, no one answered the door at Becky Wade's home in Calhoun, Ga. The lawn is filled with a colorful flower garden and Wade's neighbor, Dorothy Stanley, said Wade would welcome each new neighbor with a bouquet.

"It's just bad. It's just really bad," she said.

Nor was anyone home Monday at Fields' house on U.S. Highway 411 in Ranger. The yard was strewn with rusted cars and yard equipment and Young explained that Field's ex-husband used to collect scrap metal before he had to move into a nursing home two years ago.

Coleman remembered Fields fondly.

"She might have well as been my grandma," she said.

But Young emphasized that, if there were problems at the home between mother and son, Fields would have kept them to herself.

"Her business was her business," she said.