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St. Johns County Sheriff's Office: Clothing found on human remains similar to that of missing waitress

11:07 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- On Tuesday night, employees at Village Inn in St. Augustine remembered the good times they had with Barbara Parchem.

She trained many of them because she had worked there for 20 years.

"She's been a big influence on me and my family," said manager Matt Gleason.

"She would always bring in goodies for everyone," said Michael Rodriguez, another manager, said,

Parchem -- or Lil' Barb -- was a big part of the family at Village Inn in St. Augustine. The 67-year-old waitress had her own section and regular customers.

News of her apparent murder was hard to take. Co-workers wiped away tears.

Three weeks after her disappearance, investigators searched for her again Tuesday. They searched in Flagler Estates, a remote part of Southern St. Johns County.  

They found a body they believe is Parchem's, but there is no positive identification.

"The clothing on the remains found were similar to that that were last seen worn by Barbara Parchem," said St. Johns County Undersheriff Joel Bolante.

Searchers found the remains just on the other side of the Flagler County line. Dogs, deputies on ATVs and a helicopter crew scoured the spot more than 20 miles from Parchem's home in Elkton.

"We received assistance from the FBI that evaluated evidence that pinpointed this 16 square foot area where we conducted our search," Bolante said.

Investigators say they are speaking with a person of interest.

Meanwhile, Parchem's coworkers are trying to comfort each other.

"We've missed her for the last three weeks. We were hoping she was in Vegas. It's a whirlwind. A lot of emotions," Gleason said.

All of them want to know why someone would hurt their friend, and they say Lil' Barb's section will never be the same without her.

First Coast News

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