OKLAHOMA CITY -- A convicted murderer and a deputy warden's wife who disappeared nearly 11 years ago have been found living together and raising chickens in Texas. The woman said she was held captive the whole time, staying with the killer out of fear her family would be harmed if she fled.
Bobbi Parker, 42, has been reunited with her husband, who never remarried, and authorities were trying yesterday to piece together details of the strange case.
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 FBI agent Salvador Hernandez. Parker was found a short time later working at a nearby chicken farm; the two were living in the trailer under assumed names.
FBI agents said the reunion between Parker and her husband, Randy, ''went well." They have two daughters, who were 8 and 10 at the time of the disappearance. The family still lives in Oklahoma, where the escape occurred.
Tanya Joy Parker, the sister of Randy Parker, said the children did not make the trip to Texas.
''They are elated, but after 10 years you'd be a little stunned," she said.
Sheriff Newton Johnson had said that Bobbi Parker wanted to stay on the chicken farm, but Hernandez said it was a misinterpretation. Hernandez said he believes the sheriff's comment arose from comments Parker made thanking people as she was leaving the farm outside Campti, a tiny town near the Louisiana border.
Hernandez said that while it is unusual for someone to be held against her 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.
Dial, a sculptor and painter, was convicted of the 1981 murder of a karate instructor. He later ran an inmate pottery program with Bobbi Parker at the Oklahoma State Reformatory and had access to the couple's home during the day in staff housing on prison grounds.
Parker's mother received a phone call from her the night of the 1994 disappearance 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. ''Tell the kids I love them and I'll be home soon," she said.
In a jailhouse interview yesterday in Campti, Dial said he always expected he would be caught: ''I thought about how it would be many times. I hoped I'd be luckier, see them coming. But I didn't."
Dial declined to say whether he held Parker captive or threatened her family.
Charles Sasser, a former Tulsa homicide detective who wrote a book about Dial, said the escaped inmate called him in 2001. Sasser also said he spoke with Bobbi Parker, and heard nothing from either one to indicate Parker was held against her will. ''I don't believe it," he said. ''I spoke to her and told her to call her children."
Sasser notified the FBI, but agents were unable to determine where the Dial call came from.