When her husband filed a missing persons report, it took the Crawfordsville police a couple days to find most of Hope Parks. That’s when they came back with a warrant to search the Indiana couple’s home for her head. After Michael Dale Parks killed his wife, things really got weird.
Nobody makes it easy
Police in the west central Indiana town of Crawfordsville were more than a little suspicious when 44-year-old Michael Dale Parks called them up to report that “he couldn’t find his wife.” The trained professionals know that hardly anybody calls them up to say “I just messed up and killed my wife.” The criminals always make them earn their paycheck first. Michael, it seems, had already committed himself to trying to cover up the murder. Once he chopped off her head, and buried it in the basement, there was no longer any way he could get off with a lenient sentence. Since there was no going back, he dropped the rest of her body off a nearby bridge and tried to make it look like she ran off with a lover.
On August 18, Parks contacted local cops to report his wife missing. They had an argument, he admitted. He told the police that “she drove off in a vehicle driven by an unknown person.” The killer calmly described how “he called her over and over but when he couldn’t reach her, decided to contact authorities for help.” He didn’t bother to tell them he cut her head off. Of course, they sent some officers out to conduct an interview.
Parks was cooperative with the responding officers, allowing them to wander freely through the couple’s home. He watches all the cop shows, and was certain he covered his tracks. The head was carefully buried in the basement. He even had her cell phone locked up in his safe, where it would be better shielded from government locator spy rays. Police love killers who watch cop shows. It makes their lives so much easier when they botch the cleanup efforts. As police casually wandered through the house, they noticed the dried blood in the garage, on the driveway, and on the rear deck. They also saw “a bloody shoe print” in the area of the garage door. Out in the back yard, they found more dried blood.
Where’s her head?
Two days later, on the morning of August 20, “investigators found a headless body under the Sugar Creek Bridge just outside of Crawfordsville.” They already had a good idea who it belonged to, but Crawfordsville PD carefully did things by the book. “Using fingerprints and DNA, authorities matched the headless body to Hope.” That’s when they went to see the judge for a warrant to rip apart the property.
Once they had a chance to go through the home with a fine toothed comb, “investigators found Hope’s head hidden buried in the cellar, along with a .22 caliber rifle and a spent cartridge.” It didn’t take them long to add Hope’s phone to the pile of evidence. It was “locked inside a safe in a bedroom.” They also found “a stained blue tarp,” that they think “he transported his wife’s body in.” The County Coroner verified that “Hope had been shot in the back of the head.” Mysteriously, she also had “blunt force trauma to her chest.”
One of the neighbors, Seth Hubble, told a local news station that his wife “had come outside on the porch and she heard somebody screaming, ‘Get off of me! Please let me go.'” Neither of them reported it when they could have prevented her head being removed. “Two hundred yards from my house, this guy is chopping his wife up and putting her in the basement. It is scary, it really is.” Another neighbor, from across the street was also rattled. “The gunshot, I didn’t hear. Then I’m thinking, ‘How could I not hear a gunshot like that?'”
Michael Parks had his video arraignment and is held without bond. Judge Harry Siamas entered a not-guilty plea on Parks’ behalf. Answering only yes or no to the questions, Parks added that “his family plans to hire an attorney for him.” He’s looking at up to 65 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. “He could receive an additional five to 20 years behind bars for using a firearm.” Not to mention the aggravating circumstances of removing her head.