Camp Manager Remembers Murdered Girl

Testimony continued Tuesday in the trial for an East Texas teenager accused of killing his little sister. The 16-year-old boy is on trial in Polk County for murder and injury to a child.

Authorities said a group of kids ages 12 to 15 were playing in front of the boy's home in Leggett with a loaded gun. It went off and 13-year-old Frankee McCarty ended up dead. She died at the scene after being shot in the head with a 9 millimeter pistol.

Some of Frankee McCarty's neighbors knew her life was in danger and tried to do something about it. One of them paid to send her away to camp so she could get away from her problems.

Larry Searcy, camp manager at Lake Tomahawk, said, She was afraid that her brother would molest her and so she'd stay at [her neighbor's] house and feel protected. This [neighbor] called me and said 'summer's coming up; she's going to have to spend summer at home with her brother and she's afraid to do so. Can she stay at the camp all summer'?"

Frankee McCarty came to Lake Tomahawk in Livingston two summers ago, but Searcy still remembers her. Despite all her problems at home, she had fun and made a lot of friends during her stay.

"We'd like to think that these were the happiest two weeks of that little girl's life," said Searcy. "She bounced around here just having fun everywhere she went. She made friends easy. She was always in good spirits. We had absolutely no discipline problem whatsoever. The second week, she made a decision for Christ at our tabernacle."

Frankee didn't have any money, so a neighbor paid for her two-week visit. That same neighbor called Child Protective Services to report abuse inside the McCarty home.

"They had checked things out and found everything to be okay. Of course, we wondered did we do everything that we could have done? We wish that, in hindsight, I would've just moved her in. You wonder if you should've adopted her maybe."

Camp counselors and volunteers were so fond of Frankee, they renamed their scholarship for less fortunate kids in her honor.