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Woman Charged with Kidnapping Makes First Court Appearance Today

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RALEIGH — A home health care worker from Angier has her first court appearance today in connection with the death of an elderly Raleigh woman. Carlette Elizabeth Parker of 2329 Zacks Mill Road was charged Saturday night with kidnapping Alice Covington.

Raleigh Police Capt. Michael Longmire said late Saturday that Parker was not being charged by Raleigh police with murder, but he added that Covington died in Johnston County.

Police said Parker, 34, became acquainted with Covington, who was 86, while working as a home health care provider.The News and Observerreported that Parker worked for Healthmate Home Care and Staffing Services of 4509 Creedmoor Road. A company official said, however, that Covington was not one of their clients.

Longmire said Parker appeared to have acted alone, and that no other people were expected to be charged in connection with the case. Longmire said police were consulting with the District Attorney to determine the proper jurisdiction for any additional charges against Parker. Any additional charges might be filed after a search of Parker's home and an autopsy of Covington.

Longmire said Parker obtained money from Covington on May 1, but he would not confirm whether Parker tried to get money from Covington's account at a Smithfield bank on Tuesday.

A witness had told police that they saw Covington with another person at a Johnston County bank on Wednesday. Longmire said Raleigh police had been working with the SBI, Morrisville police and the Johnston County sheriff's department.

Police have suspected foul play in the death of Covington, whose body was found in her car Thursday, a day after she was reported missing from Springmoor, an upscale retirement home.

Covington's body was discovered inside her 1993 silver Mercury Sable by a construction worker. The car was parked in a field about 100 yards from Davis Drive near the intersection with Koppers Road in Morrisville.

Covington lived at Springmoor in North Raleigh for 14 years. She was last seen Tuesday and was reported missing by a nephew Wednesday about 9 p.m. That report touched off a large-scale search in Raleigh for Covington's Mercury Sable.

Clara Knight lived next door to Covington for years.

"She was caring," Knight said. "She was thoughtful. She liked to cook. She liked to do things for other people. She was active in her church. She ran the convenience store here, and she was on an errand to stock it."

The cause of death has not been released. The News & Observerreported that police said Parker had bilked an elderly Garner woman out of almost $40,000 three years ago. She pleaded guilty in August 1995, the paper said, and was sentenced to a four-year intensive probation.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
John Conway, Web Editor

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