Details of Disappearance
Gilkerson was last seen in Midland, Texas on November 8, 1986. Her husband of seven months last saw her at 9:00 a.m., when she told him she was leaving to go to her volunteer job at the Midland Restitution Center, a halfway house in the 2300 block of south Belmont Street, at Rankin Highway and Interstate 20. She wanted to become a probation officer and was doing volunteer work at the center to learn more about the job.
She never arrived there. At 3:15 p.m. two days later, her coworkers later found her car at the Best Western Motel west of Rankin Highway; inside were her purse, car keys and sneakers. Motel employees said the car had been parked there since about 10:30 a.m. on the day of her disappearance.
Gilkerson had been seeing David Russell Alderink for about six months prior to her disappearance; he was on probation for burglary and had been assigned to the Midland Restitution Center. The night before her disappearance, Gilkerson told her husband she planned to leave him and file for divorce. She had told friends that she hoped to move in with Alderink and thought she might be pregnant with his child.
Alderink performed his required community service at the local library under the supervision of the library custodian, Kenneth Wayne Parker. He stated he and Parker plotted to abduct women and sell them into prostitution in Mexico. Parker thought he could sell the women for $10,000 each. Alderink offered to give Gilkerson to Parker in exchange for $7,500 for the expected sale price.
He asked Gilkerson to meet him at a bowling alley on West Loop 250 at 9:00 a.m. so they could say goodbye to each other; Alderink was supposed to leave and return to his former home in Michigan, and his probation had been reassigned to there. Gilkerson arrived driving her car, and Alderink got in and drove her to the Farm-to-Market 868 northwest of Midland.
He said they stopped on the road and Parker met them there, duct-taped Gilkerson's mouth and eyes, handcuffed her, put her in a sleeping bag and drove away with her in the back of his truck. Alderink then drove Gilkerson's car to the Wrangler's Club on west Interstate 20 and, an hour after Gilkerson's abduction, caught his flight to Michigan.
Parker later told Alderink he'd taken Gilkerson to a caliche pit fourteen miles south of Midland, west of the Rankin Highway, and shot her to death after she fought with him and tried to run. He then burned her body with some old tires on a relative's property. The police later found the alleged murder weapon with two spent shells in the cylinder, but never found Gilkerson.
Alderink pleaded guilty to his role in Gilkerson's abduction in 1988 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison; he has since been released.
Parker was convicted of kidnapping and attempted kidnapping and given two consecutive life sentences. He is still in prison and his release date is in 2048, by which time he will be over a hundred years old. He still maintains his innocence. He could be tried for Gilkerson's murder if sufficient evidence surfaces. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.
Gilkerson's body has never been located, but foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.