The civil lawsuit names Mickey Patterson as the defendant. Patterson worked at the Lubbock State School with the women, and we're told he closely resembles the police sketch of the man witnesses saw Merimon and Harrelson leave with on the day they disappeared. Patterson is a person of interest in the criminal case, but he has not been charged with the crimes. The civil lawsuit claims Patterson owes both families damages and punitive damages because he caused them emotional and physical pain, loss of financial support, and he had specific intent to cause injury to both the women and their families. The families say this lawsuit is not about getting rich. It's about uncovering new leads in the criminal case. Gearl Merimon, Peggy's husband, says, "We hope for anything. It's like I say, it's been two years, within five days, and anything we can do to bring forth information of where she's at ... that's it, just bringing her home."
The families say they filed this lawsuit now because the statute of limitations was about to end for when they could file a civil case against Patterson. They say this does not mean they have given up that police will eventually make an arrest in this case. A civil trial date has not been set. We will keep you updated.