Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Profile of Tim Miller and Texas EquuSearch

A Missing Girl

Teketria
Teketria "Teeky" Buggs

Teketria "Teeky" Buggs was only 12 years old. On December 2, 2005, she was asleep on the couch in her home, as her family recalled, in the tiny Texas town of Orchard, in Fort Bend County. Later that same day, she disappeared. Her stepfather, Steven Carrington, apparently had seen her that evening, but he woke her younger sister at about 2:00 a.m. to ask where Teeky was. No one knew. The family reported her missing on Saturday morning, and when it was determined that none of her personal belongings was missing, an Amber Alert was issued.

Steven Carrington
Steven Carrington

By Sunday night, according to the news site Fortbendnow.com, a mounted search-and-rescue team from Dickenson, known as Texas EquuSearch, was helping sheriff's deputies search abandoned buildings and a 12-acre field surrounding the girl's home. Her mother, Laronald Foy, believed Teeky had left the house Friday evening with someone she knew. The police had their suspicions, since it was not the first such disappearance from the extended family at this residence, but they did not yet voice them. For the moment, they assumed Teeky was alive and could be found.

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller acknowledged to reporters that while it would be difficult to search the area at night, information led them to believe that Teeky might be in danger, so the search had to begin right away. Volunteers joined the team, but by the next morning when Teeky was still missing, two helicopters went into the air to cover the field. More volunteers arrived on all-terrain vehicles, but it was soon apparent that they would have to turn their efforts to the nearby Brazos River. Five boats were brought in.

On Tuesday morning, Miller's crew used a side-screen sonar scanner attached to a boat to search under water. The screen showed anomalous images in two separate areas that operators thought were in the shape of a body, so divers entered the swift water to investigate. However, the river delivered no secrets, and by the end of the fourth day, the team had nothing to show. "The water's deep," said Miller, "it's muddy, and the current is strong." Still, they had another option: a remote-controlled underwater vehicle equipped with a camera. While this device, too, would be ineffective in muddy water, it was worth a try. But after the attempt, they came up within nothing.

By this time, the news was reporting that Carrington was a suspect, not only because he was apparently the last to see young Teeky alive but also because he'd been associated in 1998 with a previous disappearance from the same residence — that of 21-year-old Corey Brooks, who had never been found.

Corey Brooks
Corey Brooks

Carrington and Laronald Foy had taken polygraphs, and while she had passed hers, the results of Carrington's remained sealed. He was detained in jail, based on an unrelated domestic violence charge, while police waited in the hope of finding something that would link him to Teeky's disappearance. Corey Brooks' mother (Carrington's cousin) now became vocal, telling reporters that she believed Carrington had killed her son after a family reunion one night during an argument. She had collected information over the past seven years that implicated him, she said, as well as pointing a finger at others who'd helped him get rid of the body.

Yet Carrington, 31, was not talking, and a week after Teeky had disappeared, she still had not been found. Local law enforcement made the difficult decision to pull their officers off the search, including Texas Rangers who had joined, because their resources were required elsewhere. Miller's team sought more volunteers to continue the search on their own.

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