Murdered St. Augustine waitress case remains unsolved

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- More than a year has passed since Barbara Parchem of St. Augustine was found dead.

She worked at the Village Inn Restaurant on US 1 in St. Augustine.

Sylvia Murrhee worked with Parchem for 6 years at Village Inn and they became friends. Now, Murrhee visits Parrchem's grave twice a week.

"I do it just to let her know I still think of her every day. She's in my mind and my heart," Murrhee said. "She'd help you, She was a funny lady. She like people. She liked life."

Related: Update in the Barbara Parchem murder case

Parchem, 67, disappeared in the spring of 2013. Weeks later her body was found in the woods in northern Flagler County.

The medical examiner's office said she died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Related: Remains found confirmed to be missing waitress

Her daughter, Lilly Ann Chavez, was considered a person of interest in the case, although she was never arrested for the murder. She was arrested shortly afterward for having a firearm as a convicted felon.

Related: Who is Lilly Ann Chavez?

Murrhee and co-workers say detectives told them evidence has been sent to a private lab for testing. The sheriff's office and state attorney's office will not confirm that.

"I'm hoping they will get it back and they can make an arrest in this case," Murrhee said. She has ideas of what happened to her friend, "but I prefer to keep that to me because I don't want to hurt anybody."

When Murrhee is working, she passes by Parchem's uniform. It is now framed and hangs inside the Village Inn where she waited tables for more than 20 years.

Murrhee says she can't be quiet any more.

"If nobody speaks up and keeps her name out there, I'm thinking it'll go on the back burner and go cold," she added, "and she's worth more to me than that."


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