Unsolved murder of Lufkin girl one of most gruesome in local history

Published: Nov. 24, 2009 at 11:15 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2009 at 3:14 AM CST
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By Christel Phillips - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The murder of 26-year-old Megan Curl was one of the most gruesome killings in local history.  A case that rocked the Lufkin Police Department to its core and left the community asking, "Who could have done such a thing?  Almost ten years later Megan's mother is still asking that question, while clinging to memories of a happier time.

"One of the things that I hold dear to my heart, was the last day I got to spend with her," Sherry McClung said.

Little did she know that would be the last time she would see her only daughter alive.

"We went shopping that day," McClung said. "She was so excited to be able to have enough money left over after payday to actually go out and buy some new clothes and to go over and get some new makeup products."

A few days later, things turned tragic.

March 26, 2000, around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, the Lufkin Fire Department responded to a fire at Fox Run Apartments. Firefighters broke down the door to Megan's apartment to put out the flames. It wasn't until the blaze was completely extinguished that they would make a gruesome discovery.

"He said 'Ma'am she's gone,'" McClung said.

Detectives said Megan had been suffocated with a plastic bag and her throat was slit. She was bound to the bed and set on fire.

"March 26, 2010, will be 10 years since my daughter's been gone, and when I think about not knowing who it was that performed all those horrific acts on her, I feel stuck, I feel stuck," McClung said. "I'm in a box and I'm stuck."

She only has one simple request.

"I would just like to be able to know who it was, know for a fact, know beyond a shadow of a doubt, who it was," McClung said. "Is it going to bring her back to me? No, I'm not foolish enough to think that.  Do I know she's in a better place, right now? Absolutely."

Back in 2001, the case was featured on the television series "Unsolved Mysteries."  Police say several tips came in, but nothing that would point them to a suspect.

"Even though I may have an idea, yeah, it is frustrating, until I do find the right person," Lt. Shapaka said in a 2002 interview. "We're hoping for that one piece of evidence. I keep bringing up DNA because that's a major part of the case that may help us solve it."

After Megan's death, McClung said she fell into a deep depression, but that something happened that was a complete turning point in her life.

"I had a sister that I heard her when she came in for my daughter's funeral, she said to my husband, Sherry is not going to make it out of this, she's not going to come back from this," McClung said. "And that's when I decided that in my heart of heart, God we will make it out of this, I am going to make it out of this."

Even though this tragedy has made her stronger, she still needs to know who killed her daughter.

"The person or persons who committed this horrific crime, it's been 10 years," McClung said. "Anyone who knows, anything about this, now is your chance to do what you know has been right all along, for 10 years, 10 years."

Lufkin Crimestoppers is taking calls on the Megan Curl murder case at 639-T-I-P-S.

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