Reward upped to $10K in search for couple accused in deadly shooting at Hickory furniture plant

HICKORY, N.C. — US Marshals are upping the reward in the search for a couple accused in a deadly shooting at a furniture plant in Hickory last month.

Federal Marshals are searching for a woman and her husband -- Tangela Parker and Eric Parker -- who are on the run after she fatally shot one of her co-workers last month at a Hickory furniture plant, investigators said.

The shooting happened around 2:30 p.m. on Jan.13 at TCS Design on 9th Avenue Northeast.

The U.S. Marshals Service said it has received more than a dozen tips after offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the two suspects, but have now increased the reward to $10,000 in hopes of catching the pair.

Investigators told Channel 9 that Tangela Parker shot her coworker, 51-year-old Phelifia Marlow, during a dispute and then fled the scene with her husband, who also worked at the plant. Marlow was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, where she later died.

Workers described hearing two shots and said the plant went under lockdown.

According to police, the couple was last seen leaving the business in a beige 2019 Honda CRV displaying North Carolina tag FAM5669. They should be considered armed and dangerous.

Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty spoke with the victim’s husband, Justin Marlow, on Thursday. He said his wife and Tangela Parker got into a dispute at work over some tables and that his wife had gone to management, claiming Tangela Parker had screamed at her. He said Tangela Parker was sent home for three days before returning to work and killing his wife.

“My wife was a loving, caring, strong faith woman and always seen, always seen the best in everybody,” Justin Marlow said. “Always looked on the positive side, no matter how bad things was.”

Police and the victim’s family believe Tangela Parker was bullying Marlow prior to the shooting.

“Over something silly ... very silly. Over tables ... tables being moved because they worked close together. And my wife didn’t want no problems,” Justin Marlow said.

Marlow’s uncle, Eddie Bowman, said his family is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the couple.

“I feel like someone is helping either monetarily or with transportation, and we just want to get it out to more people,” Bowman said.

Tangela Parker is wanted for first-degree murder. Eric Parker is wanted for accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

“Turn yourself in and do the right thing,” Justin Marlow said. “You took my wife ... my daughter’s mother, my grandchild’s grandmother. You took a loving person out of selfishness.”

Detectives said they have searched in several counties across the foothills for the couple.

We asked police if there has been any activity on the couple’s bank account but they’re not saying. We have confirmed that Tangela Parker’s cell phone was found 40 miles away in Colletsville, but so far police have not had any sightings of the couple or their beige Honda CRV they were driving.

“We are in disbelief that this happened and are praying she gives herself up, and are also praying for Michelle’s family. I’d rather her be behind bars and safe, than running from police,” Tangela’s father, David Honeycutt said.

Neighbors told us that no one has been at the couple’s home since the shooting.

“You not only took my mom. You took my best friend. My rock and my support system and I would ask her to think about that,” the victim’s daughter Makayla Marlow said.

Justin Marlow said he has faith that justice will be served.

“Dwells on your mind over and over and over but I think they’ll find them. Justice will be done. And we are just praying,” he said.

Anyone with information on the couple’s location is asked to contact Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.

Federal Marshals said the couple’s “wanted” photo is now on billboards along Interstate 40.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.