Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Three Murders In Clewiston Investigated

Male Suspect In Triple Murder Kills Self

CLEWISTON, FLORIDA -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Clewiston Police Department are investigating the deaths of three Clewiston residents. At approximately 11:30 a.m. Tuesday the Clewiston Police Department received a 911 call that three people were found dead at 231 West Avendia Del Rio in Clewiston. 

When police arrived they found two females and one male dead inside the home. Detectives reported seeing no visible signs of trauma to any of the bodies. 

The victims have been identified as Joey Glenn Whitaker, 52, Carolyn Cox Whitaker, 53, and Myrtle Lee Cox, 80. The Whitakers had lived in the spacious 2900' square foot home since 1989.

Photo: Murder Suspect Richard Harry Harker, 35 of Hawthorne, Florida.

According to Larry Long of the Fort Myers office of the FDLE, while investigating the murders, agents learned that one of the victim's vehicles was missing from the home. Information was revealed that placed the stolen vehicle in the Big Cypress Indian Reservation. At approximately 5:15 p.m., FDLE special agents and Seminole Police responded and spotted the stolen vehicle and pursuit began. Police say a male suspect was driving with a female passenger.

The slow moving pursuit ended in the south section of the reservation when the male suspect rammed two Seminole Police cruisers. As police demanded the suspect exit the vehicle, Harker committed suicide with a single gun shot to the head. The female suspect, Ruby Yolanda Parker, 31, (photo left) of Poplarville, MS. was taken into custody and is being interviewed by agents.

The motive for the shooting appears to be robbery and it is believed that the victims knew at least one of their attackers.

Update: 2/6/2012 - The trial of Ruby Yolanda Parker has been postponed several times. The last trial date was set for January 30, 2011.  The state is seeking the death penalty for three 1st degree murder charges. Also filed is a charge of home invasion robbery. Parker is now 36 years old and has been in Hendry county jail since her August 16, 2006 arrest.


  1. Anonymous1:05 PM

    I am a Clewiston resident and I have not heard anything about what happened to the female that was accused of being there when the murders accured. Was there a court date for her and if so was she found guilty? It is just strange that Clewiston has not heard anything about the loss of this wonderful family!

  2. The girl that is being accused is being held in the hendry county jail. She has been there since August 15 2006 and will be until her trial. I go to visit her every Saturday and I will until the day she gets out which is exactly what I hope happens. I have spoke to her in length about her case and by no means do I think she is guilty. Just look at the circumstances. Here is a mother who has never been in trouble with the law and has never been away from her child. She met this man in mississippi doing hurricane clean up. She started dating him not knowing any of his past. He picked her up one day from her moms and never took her back. Her family put out missing posters everywhere for her. She found out later on the trip to florida he was married and his wife was in a abuse shelter and he had already been in prison for 2nd degree murder and did 10 years and was released early. He also knew the people he killed in Clewiston he used to work for them. And just do the math he is the one who killed himself when the cops pulled them over so to me that shows guilt. You do the math.

  3. Anonymous3:29 PM

    Obviously you have not read a copy of her statement she gave the police. She is a very sick individual either way you want to look at it. A sick individual that will get what she has coming to her! And as far as you visiting her every Saturday, I wish I could see the TRUE victims (Ann, Joey and Granny) just one more time.

  4. Anonymous11:02 PM

    Tracy, I think it's good that you go visit her, but don't believe all that you hear....she was with Harker by choice. Like the other anonymous person've obviously not read the reports, you're only believe her side of the story. The poor victims families need to have some justice served. Do you think she was really with him against her will?

  5. Anonymous2:20 PM

    I don't even know how to respond to this. I think all people involved in this are victims here. The Whitaker family that lost 3 loved ones in a tragic way and what about Rich's family, having to deal with the heartbreak and pain that this is causing them knowing that their loved one could be capable of such a horrific thing, they are hurting too. Now, Yolanda, her family is also hurting and I do feel bad for them but Yolanda is where she belongs, she had opportunity to get out of the relationship and chose not to also she admitted to being well involved in all of this so she must face the consequences.

  6. Anonymous2:23 PM

    Tracy, you go visit Yolanda? Do you know her? Any mention of a Trial date yet, it has been almost 2 years. I would love to talk to her myself and find out what happened and why, maybee one day I can get my answers.

  7. Anonymous10:12 PM

    Everyone involved in this situatio is affected in many ways...not just the immediate families of the ones that are gone, but all of the extended family and friends that lost their family and the ones that were scared to death of the monster that Rich Harker was. Thank God he's gone, now no one has to live in fear of that man! How his wife fell for him, we'll never know!!

  8. Anonymous1:44 PM

    I don't know how you can say you hope she gets out of prison...the three individuals who were murdered did not asked to get murdered. She knew what Mr. Harker intended to do so she is just as much to blame as he is. I can not believe people except such would you feel if it was your family. could you turn the other cheek. Think about that one.

  9. Anonymous11:11 PM

    being a member of the cox family I cannot fathom how she considers herself a innocent she knew what he was doing while she was keeping a watch out. Why didn't she go for help while she was outside chain smoking?

  10. Bethany Miller4:43 PM

    My family and myself are very close to all the Whitikers and let me tell you something...Anyone who believes that this 'woman' is innocent is either high on drugs or have no common sense due to their mental compacity. They were a VERY LOVING family and did not ask for this.. Plus, the woman could have done something besides just stand there like a damn idiot! All she would of had to do was to go next door and get some help...Jesus, some people are just arrogant

  11. Anonymous5:07 PM

    I personally know Yolanda and I have read everything...I believe her and as long as she knows she has friends and family out here that love and support her I believe she will have the strength to carry on. I believe that one day she will be free and able to live her life that was taken from her in a way different than the victims, but still taken from her...That horrible man took 4 lives not just 3...

  12. Anonymous5:46 PM

    Its to Bad my Grandmother Didn't live long enough to see justice served for her sister

  13. Anonymous3:16 PM

    I just heard the trial is finally about to start & they are interviewing for a jury now.

  14. The triple murder trial of Ruby Yolanda Parker, now 36 year old has been postponed several times. It was last scheduled for January 30, 2011. She has been in Hendry jail since August 2006.

  15. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Yes, it is actually going to finally happen after over 5 years!!