Human remains believed to be of missing Tyler Co. mother, son

TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - More than two years after they went missing, the family members of Lettie and John Fisher Jr. may finally get some closure.

The Tyler County Sheriff's Office issued a press release Tuesday afternoon that stated the search for the Tyler County woman and her son "may have ended on Sunday."

Tyler County Chief Deputy Phil Ryan said no foul play is suspected at this time. Authorities believe that Lettie and John Fisher did not drown in the lake. Ryan said the exact cause of death is still not known at this time.

"An investigative team comprised of Tyler County Sheriff's Office, Texas Rangers, DPS Dive Team members, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Game wardens from Tyler and Jasper counties responded to a report of a man who had found human skeletal remains," the press release stated. "Also, fishing equipment and a prosthetic leg were found in the same location near Lake Steinhagen in the Dam-B community."

After local game wardens confirmed the man's report, the investigative team traveled by air boat to the edge of Dam-B Lake in Tyler County and then went in by foot carrying the necessary equipment needed to process the scene.

According to the press release, the investigative team located and processed the scene. In all, 36 items of evidence were collected at the scene. Ryan said the skeletal remains were found in two separate locations.

However, authorities will not be able to confirm whether or not the remains belonged to either Lettie or John Fisher Jr. until they get the results of a DNA analysis.

Lettie Fisher, 79, and John Fisher Jr., 31, were last seen in Lufkin, according to Lt. Craig Finegan with the Polk County Sheriff's Office around 12 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 when they went to a doctor's appointment.

Initially, investigators thought Lettie Fisher and her son went to Magnolia Ridge Park in the Steinhagen Lake area to fish that Monday.  In September 2012, authorities said they knew the Fishers went home to change clothes before they went fishing at the park.

They were reported missing the following Thursday after a park officer noticed their vehicle had been parked in the same spot for days. Lettie Fisher's money and purse were still in the car, according to authorities. No foul play was suspected at first.

Less than a week after they were reported missing, then-Trinity County Sheriff David Hennigan said, "We're looking at possible criminal activity now."

In September 2011, John Fisher, Lettie Fisher's husband, told the East Texas News that his son is mentally handicapped and has a prosthetic leg. He also said that his wife and his son often went fishing together.

Right after the pair was reported missing, authorities searched the area around Magnolia Ridge Park with cadaver and scent dogs, a dive team, underwater cameras, and a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter.  However, the search proved to be fruitless.

"None of the fishing equipment was located after multiple searches in the creek and park area of Magnolia Ridge, which is highly unusual," A.R. Bud Sturrock, the Chief Investigator for the Tyler County Sheriff's Office said in September 2012.

Last fall, Sturrock said they had reported sightings of Lettie and John Fisher Jr. in Lufkin, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri. Authorities continued to follow up on leads.

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