By Adam Armour
Itawamba County Times
A Fulton woman stands accused of embezzling more than $4,000 from her church.
Cathy Louise Parker, 60, of 530 Reese Road, Fulton, was arrested on Monday, Dec. 2, and charged with embezzlement. She received an initial court appearance before Itawamba County Justice Court Judge Barry Davis and was issued a $1 million bond.
The arrest took place in Waukegan, Ill., where investigators said she was staying with family. In order to be brought back to Itawamba County, Parker had to sign extradition papers, which investigators said she did willingly. She was escorted back to Itawamba County by an Itawamba County investigator and jailed last Friday. Officials said she has remained cooperative throughout the investigation and arrest.
Investigators with the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department said the size of the bond was due to the flight risk Parker presents.
Parker is accused of embezzling money from East Fulton Baptist Church, where she served as treasurer for more than three years. According to Jason Dickinson with the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department, who is investigating the case, Parker is believed to have been taking small amounts of money from the church treasury throughout her tenure as treasurer. She recently left the position, Dickinson said, to return to her home state of Illinois.
The new treasurer reportedly noticed some discrepancies in the bookkeeping, leading to the investigation.
According to Dickinson, the exact amount of money allegedly stolen from the church has yet to be determined, but he estimates it to be more than $4,000.
Parker is scheduled to appear before the next Itawamba County Grand Jury, set for February.