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Khighla Parks Autopsy Shows No Clear Sign of Death

WARSAW, Mo. -- The autopsy on the body of a Greene County teenager does not shed much light on how she died.
WARSAW, Mo. -- The autopsy on the body of a Greene County teenager does not shed much light on how she died.

Jim Miller, the coroner in Benton County, Missouri, says the examination of Khighla Parks' body found no signs of serious trauma or diseases.  Toxicology tests found no drugs or alcohol in her system, Miller said.

Parks was 15 years old when she disappeared near her family's west Greene County home on September 20.  Her body was found, weighed down in Truman Lake near Warsaw, 10 days later.

Miller tells KOLR10 News a cause of death could be possible asphyxiation, "but not strangulation," he said.  The official report, however, lists the cause of death as undetermined.

Investigators believe Khighla was in the Buffalo, Missouri area before her death and that, "activity, which took place in the Buffalo area, may have led to (her) death..."

Benton County Sheriff Rick Fajen also said it appears Khighla's body was put into Truman Lake after her death. 

On October 10, Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Karen Woodley charged Anthony Balbirnie with abandonment of a corpse, in connection with the discovery of Khighla's body.  Officers arrested Balbirnie October 8 after a chase.

A warrant application from the Benton County Sheriff's Department says a witness saw Balbirnie placing a person in the trunk of a car.

According to the documents, the witness also said she saw Balbirnie wrapping, binding and preparing the body for transportation.

A preliminary hearing for Balbirnie is scheduled for January 28 in Warsaw.

Related Related:
Body Found in Lake Is Missing Greene Co. Teen 
Family Remembers Khighla Parks
Abandonment of a Corpse Charge Filed Against Suspect in Homicide Case 
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