When Alison Parker left for work on August 26, there were two balloons and a bottle of wine in the back seat. "Congratulations!" the balloons said. They were for morning producer Melissa Ott's last day at WDBJ.
Parker, 24, the morning reporter at the Roanoke, Virginia, TV station, normally woke up at 1:30 am, but on this day her boyfriend Chris Hurst, 28, kissed her good morning at 1 am. Parker had an extra-long drive ahead of her because her assignment was at a local tourist attraction, Smith Mountain Lake.