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More Details Released in Khighla Parks Death

WARSAW, Mo. - Court documents unsealed this week in Benton County reveal that a man accused of murder, rape and abandonment of a corpse contacted his victim daily for five days before she agreed to see him in September of 2012.
WARSAW, Mo. -- Court documents unsealed this week in Benton County reveal that a man accused of murder, rape and abandonment of a corpse contacted his victim daily for five days before she agreed to see him in September of 2012.

Anthony Balbirnie, 48, who is charged in the death of 15-year-old Khighla Parks of Greene County, communicated with Parks on Facebook between Sept. 14 and 19, 2012, leading up to him picking her up and taking her to a home in Buffalo where a woman described as Balbirnie's sometime girlfriend lived, according to the probable cause statement filed in the case against him.

Parks, whose weighted-down body was found in Truman Lake about 10 days after she disappeared from her home, was seen with Balbirnie just before her death, according to a witness quoted in the statement.

The girl was sitting on Balbirnie's lap at the witness' home and he told investigators he could tell Parks was young, but did not know her age. Parks and Balbirnie left the house and returned, then went to a back bedroom for two or three minutes, then left again, he said, according to the statement.

A day or two later, the witness said he found Larry Warner, a co-defendant of Balbirnie, at the home. Warner took a shower and then sat in his truck for a couple of hours.

In interviews, Warner told investigators he picked up Balbirnie and Parks in Springfield during a rainstorm and took them to the home of Amy Hartley, another co-defendant in the case.

At Hartley's house, he said methamphetamine was used by some people at the home, although Warner said he didn't think Parks used the drug. After that, Balbirnie and Parks went into a bedroom and had sex, the statement said.

Warner told investigators he knew Balbirnie liked rough sex and liked to tie up girls. He said he also knows a girl that told him about a time when she was with Balbirnie and Balbirnie drugged her while she was sleeping, according to the statement.

Documents say Warner said he believed the sex was consensual, but that he felt "uneasy" about Balbirnie, and left the house after a while.

Hartley told investigators that Balbirnie referred to Parks as his girlfriend and that she saw the girl drinking alcohol before she and the man accused of her murder went into a bedroom.

She said she later saw Balbirnie standing over Parks and asking he whether she was OK, the documents say. The girl appeared to be having a seizure because the girl was "shaking and flopping around on the bed", said Hartley.  According to Hartley, Balbirnie told her Khighla was seizing for over an hour before Hartley walked into the room.

Documents said after Hartley and Balbirnie watched Khighla seize for several more minutes, Balbirnie tried CPR on the girl.  Hartley says Khighla continued to point at her mouth and Hartley stepped out of the room.  When she came back, Khighla was dead.

Her death was attributed to asphyxiation sex with Balbirnie.

Hartley said she helped Balbirnie find things to wrap up the young girl's body, which he then put in the trunk of her car.

She told investigators in a later interview that she had accompanied first to a bridge over the Pomme De Terre River to dump the body, but the water was too low and he decided to go instead to the Warsaw area and threw the body in the lake there.

Clothig fibers, hair and DNA samples link Parks to Hartley's Buffalo home, according to the documents.

Balbirnie is charged with second-degree murder, statutory rape, child molestation, endangering the welfare of a child, evidence tampering and abandonment of a corpse.

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