CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (WXIN) -- An Indiana man who reported his wife missing was charged with murder after police found her headless body in the couple's home on the same day.
Crawfordsville Police said Michael Parks arrived at the department on Thursday, August 20, to report his wife Hope Parks had disappeared two days earlier, on the 18th, following an argument.
Parks claimed his wife threw her wedding ring and keys at him, then left in a car with someone else, according to police. He said after repeatedly trying to call her, he decided to report her missing.
On that same Thursday, investigators searched the couple's home on County Road 225 West on the Sugar Creek Bridge and found dried blood in the driveway, blood in the garage, and a bloody shoe print. They obtained a search warrant for the rest of the home.
Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies found a woman's headless body in the residence. Hope Parks' severed head was found buried in the cellar.
Investigators also found a .22-caliber rifle and ammunition inside the home and found a trail of blood droppings in the yard, and a .22 shell casing. A phone police believe belonged to Hope Parks was found inside a bedroom safe.
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.