In the Southeast corner of Oklahoma, near the Texas and Louisiana border, is the small town of Valliant which sits on land originally designated as Indian Land and part of the Choctaw Nation. In the 1970's Weyerhouser Paper Mill (now International Paper Company) came to town and, at that time, was the largest mill in the world. The company also brought with it many jobs for the surrounding area and prosperity to the residents of Valliant. As in other small towns across America, everyone knows everyone, and most of their business.
Hope and Jerry Meek, along with their three young children, lived on Section Line Road, most likely a road cut by the section of timber which Weyerhouser may have been harvesting at one time. Hope Meek worked as a jailer who transported inmates to court, and was preparing to soon graduate with a degree in criminal law. Jerry Meek worked for Weyerhouser (International Paper Company) when, in February, 2002, Hope disappeared.
Family members describe Hope as being very close to her family, talking to her mother by phone several times throughout each day, which is verified by phone records, so when there was no word from her the family was worried and took action by sending the police to the home for a wellness check. On that day, Jerry Meek told them Hope had just left to go to the store, however, upon searching the home they found that her vehicle was still there, all her belongings, credit cards, her purse, cell phone, and her glasses and contacts, unusual for someone who can't see without them. The three children were also at home.
It was five days before Hope Meek was reported missing, at the insistence of her immediate family. Apparently Jerry Meek changed his story about Hope going to the store and admitted that he hadn't seen her for five days, reporting that he had taken the children camping, at a location he was unable to remember 5 days later. According to accounts from friends and family, the winter night of February 21 was quite cold, too cold for three small children (ages 6, 3 and 10mo.) to be sleeping outdoors.
Family and friends allege the marriage was beginning to unravel, there were police reports made about domestic violence incidents and the couple were separating. The night he went camping with the children, Jerry Meek says he left Hope with $500, and when he returned, she was gone as well as the $500.
Her employer, McCurtain County Sheriff's Department, says it was not in Hope's character to be absent from work without a valid excuse, and was highly unusual that she did not pick up her paycheck. As in almost all cases of missing mothers, friends and family say that she would NEVER leave her children behind and discontinue contact with them.
According to public records found online, Jerry Meek petitioned for divorce from Hope Danielle Meek on March 6, 2002, 10-12 days after Hope went missing. Others report that another woman, a former babysitter and now elementary teacher, moved into the marital home within a short period of time. According to family members, Jerry Meek was having an affair with the "other woman," and Hope knew, but that wouldn't be a reason for her to leave everything and walk away.
Nine years have gone by, and Jerry Meek has managed to erase Hope's very existence in the lives of her children, including fighting Hope's family for full custody of her oldest child from a previous marriage. Hope's family has been denied visitation which was court ordered, leaving them with no contact with her biological family, and theirs.
Jerry Meek has not cooperated with investigators, searched for his wife, nor answered any questions concerning what has happened to her. He refuses to take a polygraph. In this writer's opinion, Jerry Meek is probably well connected to the area, being born and raised there, and someone, somewhere is covering up the truth of what happened to Hope Meek.
In cases such as this, speculation runs very high, but no matter what the circumstances are today, the fact remains that Hope Meek is missing and needs to be found to give her family peace of mind and her children the truth.
Missing Since: 02/21/02
Missing from: Valliant, Oklahoma
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: 1976
Age at disappearance: 25 years old
Hair Color: Sandy Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Distinguishing Characteristics: Hope wears eyeglasses,
but she left her pair behind inside her residence at the time of her disappearance.
NamUs MP # 5169
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Valliant Police Department
Oklahoma State Bureau Of Investigation
If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.
Interview 5/5/2011 with sister of Hope Meek
AUGUST 11, 2012
OSBI agents arrested Jerry Meek, 39, where he works, at the International Paper Company in Valliant.
He was booked into the McCurtain County Jail on one count of first degree murder. His bond was set at $250,000.
The bureau said the arrest was made possible by a new District Attorney, who was willing to prosecute the case despite the lack of body. They said they believe the passage of time proves Hope is deceased.