Carolina Forensics opened its doors in June 2005. Today d/b/a/ Laura Pettler & Associates, under the sigil of the Phoenix rising, LPA’s Associates, Consultants, Field Operatives, Case Analysts, and Staff share an exceptional level of enthusiasm, dedication, and balanced perspective that makes this firm the innovative solution for all clients. The Phoenix rising from fire is the symbol of unwavering survival, immortality, resurrection, and rebirth. Cold Cases need all of those: unwavering dedication, immortality to remember victims, resurrection of cases forgotten, and rebirth of investigation and new evidence.
LPA isn’t a company, we’re a culture. A group of like-minded yet diverse individuals with sworn allegiance to the symbolic meaning of the Phoenix. LPA has virtually no turn-over. They come and they stay.
Laura Pettler and Michael Parker met while attending Waxhaw, NC’s 2005 National Night Out. Michael Parker was the District Attorney of four counties, and one of the most sought-after prosecuting attorneys and prosecutor educators in the country. Laura had just opened Carolina Forensics and was focused on crime scene reconstruction and behavioral analysis. Michael focused on progressive prosecutorial programs and innovation in prosecution. Michael hired Laura to review a cold case of which she was the only one who potentially identified the correct murder weapon.
Michael and Laura found their individual fields complemented each other’s in surprising, and what turned out to be inseparable ways. Technology was changing prosecution and vice versa. This made them eager to cultivate their own programming within Michael’s Administration, one that would effectively intersect both of their types of expertise with for the People of North Carolina. They believed that successful prosecution begins at the crime scene and what creative prosecution is not only possible in many cases, it is the only way.
Laura’s experience working with Michael was unmatched. She left the DA’s Office December 31, 2010 and five years later, Carolina Forensics turned into Laura Pettler & Associates. After retiring, Michael and Laura joined forces again, but this time not only to benefit the People of North Carolina, but the entire world.
LPA Headquarters Leadership
From working with law enforcement to families and private attorneys as well, Laura has worked in the field of death investigation cases large and small for nearly 20 years. Read more…
Doctor of Philosophy, 2011
YOUNGSTOWN STATE UNIVERSITY
Master of Science, 2003
Bachelor of Science, 1997
Activities & Affiliations
OzTeam Forensic Criminologist on The Dr. Oz Show Seasons 8, 9, 10, and signed for 11
Guest appearances on numerous shows on Oxygen, ID, Spike, Reelz, and Starz,
North Carolina Private Investigator #5330
Roundtable Expert Associate
Michael focuses on the various facets of law that are involved in death case prosecution. Prior to joining LPA, he was Police Attorney for Fayetteville Police Department. The heart of his career as been as a career homicide prosecutor. Michael retired from the State of North Carolina with more than 25 years of homicide prosecution experience in more than 800 cases. Read more…
UNIVERSITY OF NC AT CHAPEL HILL
Juris Doctor, 1989
NC STATE UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, Magna Cum Laude Graduate – 1986
• North Carolina
LPAIFI Training Coordinator
After 30 years of service, George D. Nickerson Jr. retired from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2015. George spent his career in a diversity of positions after spending four years in patrol he then spent over 25 years assigned to the Special Operations Division working dual-purpose-patrol and narcotics K-9s. George is a certified North Carolina General Instructor, NRA Basic Handgun Instructor, and a North Carolina Concealed Carry Instructor. George has taught Basic Recruit Training and in-service training classes at both CMPD's Police Academy and at Stanly County Community College. George worked part time as a Firearms Instructor at Point Blank Range in Matthews, North Carolina and has a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University.
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice
North Carolina General Instructor
NRA Basic Handgun Instructor
North Carolina Concealed Carry Instructor