CRAWFORDSVILLE — A man has been sentenced to serve 50 years in prison as part of a plea deal in the murder of his wife, whose severed head was buried in a cellar, court records show.
Michael D. Parks was sentenced Friday in the August 2020 killing of his wife, Hope Parks, whose headless body was found on County Rd. 225 on the Sugar Creek Bridge.
Parks pleaded guilty to a single count of murder in an agreement filed on March 22, according to court records.
An investigation began on Aug. 20 when Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies responded after being notified of the deceased woman's headless body was discovered.
Parks told police his wife had been missing since Aug. 18 following an argument. He said the last time he saw her was when she left their house and got into a silver or white Honda that was driven by an unknown person.
During a search of the couple's house in the 1000 block of South Elm Street, police found dried blood in the gravel driveway in front of an overhead garage door, on the garage floor with a shoe print, and on an exterior deck. Officers also discovered a trail of dried blood in the grass.
Later in the day, investigators found a human head with a bullet wound buried in the cellar of the house.
Police also found a .22 caliber rifle and ammunition, which matched a spent .22 caliber cartridge casing that was found in the yard next to a trail of blood. A phone believed to have belonged to Hope Parks was found in a safe in the home's bedroom. Investigators also found a man's shoe with tread similar to the footprint in the blood droppings in the garage.
The next day, investigators discovered a blue tarp that was stained with blood, along with hair and plastic bags containing blood-covered rags that were found in the hole where the severed head was buried.