Wilson police charge man with missing woman's murder

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Gregory Kent Parks told ABC11 he had nothing to do with woman's disappearance. (WTVD)

The Wilson Police Department has charged Gregory Kent Parks with one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree kidnapping in the death of Isabel Calvo Palacios, who has been missing since July 31.

Isabel Calvo Palacios

The 20-year-old's body has not been found.

"I want to express my appreciation of Wilson Police Department personnel and the various other local, state, and federal agencies that assisted with this investigation. I also want to express my appreciation for the overwhelming support and assistance from our community residents," said Police Chief Thomas P. Hopkins in a statement.

Hopkins called the investigation "far from over," and asked anyone with information that might lead detectives to Palacios' body to call Wilson Crimestoppers at (252) 243-2255.

Palacios was last seen at Parks' home on Ward Blvd. According to court documents, the 56-year-old has been arrested more than 100 times since 1983. The crimes Parks has been convicted of range from manslaughter to attempted first and second-degree rape.

Parks spoke with ABC11 by phone after Palacios's disappearance and said he had nothing to do with it. He said she spent the night at his home and couldn't find her car keys the next morning, so he allowed her to leave her vehicle at his house.

"We were not close friends, just associates. I had known her for 4-5 months on just a casual basis. I wish she would walk up right now and this would all go away," he said. "I allowed her to leave her car there and I explained that to the police."

Palacios' mother told ABC11 that she had never heard of Parks before her daughter went missing and, for her, the wait is not over.

"I feel a little desperate because I need to know about my daughter," said Dominga Palacios.

Isabel Calvo Palacios

She said she never believed Parks' story because her daughter had a 3-year-old daughter of her own at home that she would never leave.

"It's sad to see her because she's waiting for mom to come back," said Dominga Palacios.

Detectives have had crime scene tape up around Parks' home since Palacios's disappearance. They have not said what evidence they found there that allowed them to charge Parks with murder without finding Palacios's body.

"We intend to do all we can to ensure the safety of everyone in our community. We will utilize all law enforcement and non-law enforcement partners and resources at our disposal; and around the clock, to remove dangerous offenders from our community," said Chief Hopkins.

Cora Johnson also spoke with ABC11 Thursday. She claims her daughter was attacked by Parks in his home in 2012.

"She picked up a pair of scissors out of the house and cut him and ran for the door. And I live right around the corner. She made it home," said Johnson.

Johnson and her family moved away from the neighborhood after the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned Parks' conviction in the case citing a lack of evidence. Parks was released from prison 27 years early.

"If he would've stayed in jail for what he did to my daughter, and if something's found happened to her, maybe her life would've been saved. Do you get what I'm saying?" said Johnson.

Parks is currently being held in the Wilson County jail under no bond.

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