Murder Investigation Points To Minister - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/15/02 - Troup

Murder Investigation Points To Minister

   From pastor to prime suspect. The sight of Minister Mike Tabb, emotionless and handcuffed is something longtime parishioner Joe McElroy can't seem to shake.

"All of your church leaders," he says, "Regardless of their station in life, their still human beings and human beings by nature have frailties."

   McElroy says the small town of Troup is left in the wake of healing. Healing that's having to be done in the shadows of investigators who continue to line the roadways of Troup. Thursday afternoon, they're still searching for the murder weapon that killed Marla Tabb. Though the church has become the focus of murder as it remains quiet from the outside, but leaders are left answering many questions.

   "Questions concerning why?," says Rev. David McKay of the Texas Conference of United Methodist Church. "How could this have happened. Those are questions that are not wrong, sometimes they're important to ask."

   While parishioners like McElroy rely on their faith now more than ever, his hope includes more than praying hands, "You haven't been tried and I'm a firm believer in the American system of Justice."

   First United Methodist Church has named Reverend George Helton as interim pastor. There's no word yet from the church's Bishop on what will happen next with Michael Tabb, but leaders plan to take action soon.

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