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Anthony Balbernie Faces Murder Charges in Death of Khighla Parks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Anthony Balbernie is now facing murder charges for the death of Khighla Parks about a year following the crime.
GREENE COUNTY, Mo. -- A man is facing murder charges for the death of a Greene County teen.

Anthony Balbirnie is accused of killing Khighla Parks last year.  This charge comes just a week after the Attorney General's office took over the case.

A previous charge of abandonment of a corpse was dropped.

Balbirnie is also charged with statutory rape.

According to court documents, Parks died of asphyxiation while having sex with Balbirnie.  She was later found floating in Truman lake.  Her body had been weighted down.

Balbirnie is already in prison for parole violations.

The Attorney General's office declined to comment on its involvement in the case.

Khighla's family members have waited a little over a year now for answers regarding their loved ones death.

"Every day was special," said Parks' Grandmother Bonnie Adams of Khighla in an October 2012 interview.  She described Khighla as a young girl with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

Khighla Parks' body was found weighted down and submerged in Truman Lake last year ten days after her grandmother reported her missing.

"You accept the loss as much as you can," she told us at the time.

Officers arrested Anthony Balbirnie following a car chase along Highway 65 between Fair Grove and Buffalo not long after Parks' body was found.  A warrant application from the Benton County Sheriff's Office showed a witness saw Balbirnie placing a person in the trunk of a car.

About two months later in December of 2012, Anthony Balbirnie was charged with abandonment of a corpse concerning this case.  That initial charge has since been dropped, but he's now facing a murder charge for the teen's death and a new charge of abandonment of a corpse.

During a phone conversation last week, Khighla's Grandmother Bonnie said "In time, there will be justice for our granddaughter."

Now, a little more than a year since the crime, she's one step closer to finding out what really happened.

We spoke to Khighla's Uncle, Christian Adams, who said "I want everyone that is involved to be brought to justice."

Balbirnie's past offenses include forgery, unlawful use of a weapon and numerous drug charges.

He's currently in a Missouri prison in Bowling Green. 

He's serving a seven year sentence on a parole violation stemming from the charges in this case.

KOLR10 will be following this case closely and will provide more details as they become available.
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