Local News

Remains identified as missing Vance County woman

Posted September 16, 2008

— A body found last week in the remnants of a house near Henderson is that of Geneva Brown Parham, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Tuesday.

Parham's estranged husband, Robert Sterling Parham Jr., 36, of 671 Club Pond Road, was arrested and charged last week with first-degree murder and first-degree arson after investigators found the body in Geneva Parham's house.

Vance County Sheriff Peter White said that the Parhams had been fighting last Thursday morning before her house, at 2567 Allison Cooper Drive, caught fire and that Robert Parham had a wound on his arm that was relevant to the case.

He declined, however, to disclose further details

Geneva Parham's family has said the couple had been having marital problems for the past few years and that she was in the process of getting a restraining order against him.

Robert Parham's family disputed the claims, saying he is innocent of the charges.

Parham made his first court appearance Monday morning in Vance County, where the judge appointed an attorney to represent him. His next court date is Sept. 22.

The couple had three children, all of whom were at school at the time of the fire. They are now in the custody of Geneva Parham's parents.

Geneva Parham's mother, Karen Brown, said Monday that explaining to the children what happened was the most difficult thing she's ever had to do.

"They've lost everything," she said. "Their whole foundation was ripped out – their momma, their daddy, their home."


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  • familyfour Sep 17, 2008

    I just hope that the family that is now raising these boys has lots and lots and LOTS of love to go around. These boys have lost both their parents. Sounds more like they were saved from dad, at the expense of losing their mom.

    I try not to draw my own conclusion, but he looks so worried about his boys, and who really killed his wife, and where he's gonna live when he gets out (since he's innocent), that it just turns my stomach. I hope he gets the death penalty-if they pin it on him.

  • tmbboyd Sep 16, 2008

    I was in an abusive marriage and I did get out and decided to but all my energy into my career (pursuing a Doctorate in Psychology). I was lucky enough not to have children, as my ex husband was in the military but a lot of people do stay because of the children. My advice to them is: GET OUT! Living with an abusive husband is doing more harm to the children than good. The best thing that can be done for them, is give them a stable environment, even if it means with only one parent.

    My heart breaks for the Brown family and the precious children she left behind. May God give the family the strength they need to carry on. God bless.

  • kiediss Sep 16, 2008

    so maybe north carolina should issue dates for hunting season on spouses? There have been so many of these types of cases in the past year... I can't keep a count.. what a shame... a true shame. If you're in a bad marriage or living situation... get out asap.. run for your life.

  • Anne N Sep 16, 2008

    so they would rather spend the rest of there life in prison and never see the kids again. smart men...

  • Justin T. Sep 16, 2008

    Someone asked, "What is up with men killing their wives!!!!"

    ***THIS IS NOT MY PERSONAL OPINION*** That said, here goes:

    Men I talk to about this issue in addition to what I hear on the radio and internet (male-oriented programs) all claim that this trend is due to the disparity in divorce and child custody laws.

    Despite the gains made toward equal rights, men always get the short end of the stick.

    They pay half of their income even if their wives are financially independent and even if their wives are crack heads... it is almost impossible for a husband to get custody of the children.

    So, from what I hear, men are tempted to bump their wives off since the legal system has failed them. Just the word from the street.

  • whocares Sep 16, 2008

    People today don't have any consideration for anyone's life. Before a husband kills his wife or before a wife kills her husband, they should stop and think what will happen to their children (if they have any). These poor children now not only do not have parents, they don't have anything left of their house, toys, clothes. Adults are supposed to take care of their children, not turn their lives upside down just because they cannot get along.

  • Scubagirl Sep 16, 2008

    wonder if his family still says oh not my brother/son.

  • san4short Sep 16, 2008

    If she was getting a restraining order against him then perhaps he had been physically abusive and maybe went too far this time and tried to cover his tracks by burning down the house. Whatever happened to just getting divorced and move on if you don't get along with your spouse? If you're not happy, don't kill the mother of your children, you go to jail and now these poor kids have had their whole lives turned upside down. My prayers are with them and I hope their grandparents are able to keep them together. They will need each other from this day forward to get through the tough times. Very sad story indeed.

  • headlong Sep 16, 2008

    Thoughts and Prayers for the Children and Family!!!

    I can't understand this like anyone else here...I have never seen so many and not just in NC that are killing husbnad, wife, and some cases children...if your not happy and want freedom...murder is not freedom.

  • Tired Of Excuses Sep 16, 2008

    I agree with Sadie1278. Anyone who would burn down their own home and murder the mother of their own children is either evil or mentally disturbed. He has a history of being a controlling man. She wanted out and he was going to give it to her but on his terms not hers. The state of NC needs to send a message.