CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The family of a Hickory woman who was murdered while working at a furniture plant in 2021 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the business and suspects.

Court records state that the family of Michelle Marlow is suing TCS Designs Inc., its owner, and the couple charged in the murder, Tangela Parker and Eric Parker.

Tangela Parker is charged with killing her former co-worker, Michelle Marlow, at TCS Designs in Hickory. According to investigators, the two got into a heated argument sometime in January 2021. Tangela Parker was sent home for a few days at that time following the argument.

But when she returned to work, police and court records state she shot the 51-year-old mother twice in the head and then fled with help from her husband, Eric Parker, more than 2,000 miles away.

Michelle Marlow was rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem with life-threatening injuries before passing away at the hospital, authorities said.

Between January 2021 and July 2021, Tangela and Eric Parker worked odd jobs, panhandled on the side of the road, and changed their names while on the run, authorities said.

The couple lived in their car for 11 weeks. They even changed out the North Carolina plate for an Arizona one. After saving enough money, they were able to rent a small apartment.

It was at that apartment that the U.S. Marshals Service arrested them in July, six months to the day of the murder. Both were transported back to North Carolina in August 2021 as part of the extradition process.

The lawsuit states that before the fatal shooting happened TCS Designs Inc. had knowledge that Tangela Parker had threatened Michelle Marlow but company guidelines were not followed and did not result in termination.

According to the lawsuit, the family states TCS Designs Inc. should have fired Tangela Parker following the violent threats made but only issued a three-day suspension instead because her husband, Eric, was a valued supervisor within the company.

Tangela Parker has been charged with murder and her husband Eric has been charged with one count of accessory after the fact.