Local News

Remains identified as missing Vance County woman

Posted September 16, 2008 10:54 a.m. EDT
Updated September 16, 2008 3:33 p.m. EDT

— 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."