Local News

Wilson man gets life sentence for killing woman whose body has never been found

Posted November 15, 2017 12:28 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 2:06 p.m. EDT

Gregory K. Parks

— A Wilson man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole for killing a woman who hasn't been seen in more than two years.

A Pitt County jury convicted Gregory K. Parks, 59, on charges of first-degree murder under the felony murder rule by way of the commission of attempted second-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping, first-degree kidnapping and obtaining property by false pretense.

Isabel Calvo Palacios, 20, was last seen at Parks’ Wilson home on July 31, 2015. Although authorities believe she is dead, her body has never been found.

Isabel Calvo Palacios

Parks testified during the trial that Palacios left his house that afternoon after they spent hours smoking crack cocaine. Parks said Palacios told him she was going to find more drugs and that she was getting a ride with another man.

But prosecutors presented DNA and other evidence to show that Parks killed Palacios inside his bedroom. They said he beat her to death after she refused to have sex with him in exchange for drugs and tried to fight him off.

The trial was moved out of Wilson County because of pre-trial publicity.

Parks was convicted in 2013 of participating in the prostitution of a minor, but he was released from prison the following year after the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned the conviction, citing a lack of evidence. He also was previously convicted of manslaughter and attempted first-degree and second-degree rape.