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Tommy Parker at a spot where a deadly bag was found on Lawrence County 84.
Daily photo by Brennen Smith
Tommy Parker at a spot where a deadly bag was found on Lawrence County 84.

Poisoning mystery in Lawrence
Truck leaves bags of deadly mix near homes on county road; small dog licks one, dies seconds later; 2 people go to hospital

By Nancy Glasscock
nglasscock@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

DANVILLE — A Lawrence County family was recovering Thursday after they were exposed to a pesticide left outside their home by someone apparently trying to kill animals.

Vicky Parker said she still felt nauseous, but her 17-year-old stepson, Tommy Parker, felt well enough to return to school. The two were treated and released from Lawrence County Hospital late Wednesday night.

"I still feel like I've been kicked by a donkey," Vicky Parker said. "If I lay down, I immediately throw up."

Investigators believe someone left the substance mixed with sardines or tuna outside homes along Lawrence County 84 to kill animals, said Lt. Tim McWhorter of the Lawrence Sheriff's Department. He said investigators haven't determined exactly what pesticide was left outside the homes, but it could be Temik, commonly used on cotton.

The Parkers' dog, a Chinese pug puppy, died seconds after the animal licked a bag that contained the substance. Vicky Parker's brother brought three bags containing pesticide and sardines inside after seeing someone in a 1998 black Ford extended cab truck throwing the bags out in front of the Parkers' and neighboring homes, she said.

Parker said the family didn't recognize the truck, and its license plate was covered. After collecting a few of the bags, the family contacted the Sheriffs Department, she said.

When Tommy Parker was showing a deputy the bags, he accidentally knocked one to the floor, and the family's dog licked at, Vicky Parker said.

"It wouldn't take much of it to overload her system," she said. "She wasn't but 4 months old, maybe 3 or 4 pounds. She didn't even walk 10 feet (before she died.)"

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