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Patti's story

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- We've heard her name and seen her face for the past 25 years, and we have known her for the way she died; but her parents want us to know her as their daughter, Patti.

Evelyn McRay, Patti's mother described her as just a normal kid.

Patti's parents Harold and Evelyn McRay still live in the Lawton home they bought when they moved here in 1957.

Patti was involved in school, and grew up to teach business classes at her alma mater Lawton High School.

Harold McCray, Patti's father said, "She was as smart as her mother."

Patti taught at the Great Plains Technology Center, a job her parents say was a step up in her career.

The last home Patti lived in was a home on Dogwood Lane, that was made especially for her. Her parents say some students at the vo-tech built it, as part of their classes. They say that's why Patti loved this home so much, because it was part of someone's education.
But the home she loved so much was the place where she was brutally murdered back in June 1991 at the age of 34.

Patti's parents were in Texas that weekend, Harold was preaching at another church, Evelyn was helping with their bible study.

On Monday Harold got a phone call from a detective.

"I couldn't tell her what had happened, he said. “They had to tell her because I emotionally just could not do it."

They rushed home.

Evelyn said, "Sometimes I think of it as when it first happened it was a sharp searing pain. Just almost unbearable."

Police say Patti was murdered in her home over the weekend between June 8th through the 9th.

On the 10th, that Monday, Patti's co-workers were worried when she didn't show up for work. They went to check up on her.

The back door was found busted open, and police noticed blood on doorways and light switches. Then Patti was found slumped over in the bathtub with her face in a pool of blood. She had multiple stab wounds.

Patti's home was turned into a crime scene.

Evelyn says the days after were a blur surrounded by friends and family, but when she saw a clipping in the newspaper about her daughter's death, it started a collection.

She said, "Oh it was just like preserving a part of her. These are really special things to me. Things people have written. And poetry and letters about her..."

Page after page. clippings, church bulletins, poems, letters... and cards that didn't make it.

Evelyn said, "We had this birthday card ready for her to give to her. Her birthday was July the 16th."

The McRays didn't know many details about their daughter's death at the beginning. But after 25 years, it's hard to forget the details they now know.

"And so it's like I have this little thing in my head, a little tape in my head that I can just turn on, said Evelyn. “And it can reenact in my mind the things that I know happened to her in her house that night."

Harold replied, "But the fact that your child is gone and suffered like she did then, you know, you'd probably never get over that."

Her parents are waiting for the right person to come forward, so they can maybe have their questions answered.

Why did this happen? Why did she not get to live long enough to enjoy a long life instead of such a short one."

The McRay's say those are questions they ask in their prayers. They say their faith in God as played a big part in dealing with their daughter's untimely death.
When asked if it helps, knowing they will see Patti again someday, Evelyn answered as though she has thought of the idea for years.

She said, "That really doesn't satisfy. What you want is that you want her now. But then if we could have her now, if we could ask her to come back. She would say no mom, I'm better off where I am now. She would." 

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