COLLETTSVILLE, N.C. — Authorities believe that a couple wanted in the shooting death at a Hickory furniture plant could be in the mountain area and possibly near the border between Tennessee or North Carolina side.
Investigators in North Carolina said they recovered a cell phone belonging to Tangela and Eric Parker in Collettsville, which is in the western part of the county.
On Jan. 13, Hickory Police said Tangela Parker shot and killed her co-worker, Michele Marlow, following a workplace dispute at TCS Designs.
Detectives said Eric Parker drove his wife away after the shooting happened.
The couple hasn't been seen since the shooting.
Since finding the cell phone, investigators have been conducting aerial surveillance around Wilson Creek near Pisgah National Forest.
A homeowner told WCNC Charlotte he saw two helicopters flying over the area Monday.
Ian Nabors went camping overnight and said it's a huge area to try to find two people.
"To hear that they're searching for someone that, you know, shot somebody, that's definitely pretty wild," Nabors said. "I just hope they find her and get some justice for that woman."
Tangela Parker is facing a first-degree murder charge while Eric Parker is wanted for accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.
The U.S. Marshals have increased their reward to $10,000 for information on the couple's whereabouts.
The U.S. Marshals consider the couple "armed and dangerous," and they were last seen in a beige 2019 Honda CRV with the North Carolina license plate, FAM-5669.
The Hickory Daily Record reported Thursday that the search for the couple extends to the entire East Coast.
But U.S. Marshal Deputy Commander Brian Alfano said it’s possible they’re still in the greater Hickory area.
Anyone with information on the couple is asked to call 1-877-WANTED2 or visit usmarshals.gov/tips.