Court docs: Crawfordsville murder suspect buried wife’s severed head in basement

Crime

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — Gruesome details have emerged in connection with a murder in Crawfordsville.

Police arrested Michael Parks last week. Court documents reveal that the victim was his wife, Hope Parks.

On Aug. 20, Michael Parks arrived at the Crawfordsville Police Department to report that his wife had disappeared on Aug. 18 after they got into an argument.

He told police that his wife had thrown her wedding ring and keys at him before getting into a car with someone else and leaving. He claimed he’d “repeatedly attempted to contact her by phone” and decided to come to police to report her missing.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office found her headless body on County Road 225 West on the Sugar Creek Bridge on Aug. 20—the same day Michael Parks made the missing persons report.

When police searched Parks’ home, they found dried blood in the driveway and blood in the garage, as well as a bloody shoeprint. They obtained a search warrant for the rest of the home.

Investigators found Hope Parks’ severed head buried in the cellar.

They also found a .22 rifle and ammunition inside the home. In the yard, they discovered a trail of blood droppings and a .22 shell casing. A phone police believe belonged to Hope Parks was found inside a bedroom safe.

Police also discovered a man’s shoe with a tread similar to the footprint found in the garage.

An autopsy determined that Hope Parks had been shot in the back of the head. She had also suffered blunt force trauma to her chest and extremities, the medical examiner found. The remains were positively identified through fingerprints and dental records, court documents said. Family also made identification.

An additional search of Parks’ home on Friday turned up a blue tarp with stains that appeared to be consistent with blood; police believe Parks used it to transport his wife’s body. Investigators also found additional hair and plastic bags containing blood-covered rags in a hole in the cellar floor.

Michael Parks is charged with murder. He had an initial hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning.

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