Investigators have announced that human remains found at a “crude grave site” in Arkansas are the remains of Christy Rooks, a 42-year-old woman who vanished in that state earlier this month, as they also charge her boyfriend with capital murder.
The remains were found about nine miles north of the Arkansas city of Hazen, Arkansas State Police said in a statement on Saturday, January 25.
Rooks’ Nissan Altima was located by Highway Patrol troopers Friday about 40 miles away in Cabot, a suburb of Little Rock. The remains have positively been identified as Rooks, according to a Prairie County Sheriff’s Department press release provided to Oxygen.com.
Investigators were led to the general area through “information tied to the disappearance” of Rooks, who lived in Wynne – around 60 miles northeast of Hazen. They searched a farm property and a home located between Des Arc and Hazen for two days before the grim discovery was made. The area where the body was found is described as a 752 acre ranch, according to the Prairie County Sheriff’s Department.
State police previously noted that Rooks’ boyfriend Earl Parks, 47, of Hazen, was being questioned in connection to her disappearance. He has been charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence and possession of firearms as a felon, according to the Prairie County Sheriff's Department. He's being held on no bond and it's unclear if he has a lawyer.
Forensics experts will now attempt to determine the exact manner of death, state police indicated.
Rooks was reportedly last seen leaving Parks' house in Hazen around Jan. 10, according to local television station WREG-TV. She was officially reported missing on Jan. 17. The two had been dating for about six months, WMC5 reports.
Erika Young, Rooks' cousin who lives in Texas, told Oxygen.com that she loved her relative's social media presence.
"She was always posting pictures and funny stuff," she said. "She was a good person. She would do anything for anybody. If she could do it, she would."
Rooks loved Lucero, a country-punk rock band based in Tennessee.
"Her favorite thing to do was go to concerts," Young said. "She would travel and go to all their little concerts and things."
Despite the fact that she was a grandmother, Young characterized her as being "full of life."
Young said that Rooks had two sons, both in their 20s. The eldest son had two grandchildren, ages 5 and 2.
"She loved her grandbabies, her kids, that's what she lived for," Young said. "It just sucks that he took that away from them."
Young said that she had a bad feeling that Parks may have allegedly had something to do with her cousin's disappearance from the beginning and told Oxygen.com she hopes he "rots in jail." She described Parks as a rancher, but it’s unclear if he lived or worked at the ranch where Rooks’ remains were found.
“Please keep the Rooks Family in your Prayers,” the Wynne Police Department said Saturday following the discovery of the remains.
The Prairie County Sheriff's Department has thanked all agencies involved as well as "the farmers who used their time and equipment to assist us in the recovery of Christy Rooks"
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