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Man Charged with Dumping Teen's Body to Stand Trial in October

HERMITAGE, Mo. -- Anthony Balbirnie, who is accused of abandoning the corpse of Willard teen Khighla Parks, will stand trial on October 24.

HERMITAGE, Mo. -- A man accused of abandoning a corpse in connection with a Willard teen's death will stand trial this fall.

On Friday, Anthony Balbirnie, 47, stood before a Hickory County judge who ordered him to stand trial on October 24-25, 2013.

Balbirnie was charged with Abandonment of a Corpse last December after the body of Khighla Parks,15, was found in Truman Lake. He was later charged with Resisting Arrest, Burglary, Robbery, and Armed Criminal Action.

Officers arrested Balbirnie in October following a car chase along Highway 65 between Fair Grove and Buffalo. A warrant application from the Benton County Sheriff's Department showed 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.

The charges also outline Balbirnie's criminal history, including forgery, unlawful use of a weapon, resisting arrest, and numerous drug-related charges.

Khighla Parks was last seen by her family on September 20, walking near the family's home around Highway EE and Highway AB west of Springfield. Her body was found ten days later in Truman Lake.

Benton County Sheriff Rick Fajen said the investigation into Parks' death led investigators to believe she 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..."

Fajen also said it appeared Khighla's body was put into Truman Lake after her death. The body had been weighted down, investigators said.

Balbirnie will be tried in Hickory County due to a change of venue. A pre-trial conference is set for October 9 at 2 p.m.

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