Attorney General files murder charge for death of teenager

The body of Khighla Parks, 15, was found in Truman Lake in Sept. 2012

WARSAW, Mo. - The Missouri Attorney General has charged a man for the murder of a teenager back in 2012.

Affiliate KSPR-TV reports Anthony Balbirnie is charged with second-degree murder, statutory rape, child molestation, child endangerment, tampering with physical evidence, and abandonment of a corpse.

The charges are related to the death of 15-year-old Khighla Parks, whose body was found in Truman Lake near Warsaw.

The charges were filed in Benton County by the Missouri Attorney General's Office, although most of the six crimes happened in Dallas County. Prosecutors from Polk, Dallas and Benton counties asked the attorney general's office to help them work on the case late this summer.

Parks disappeared from an area near her home south of Willard, Mo. on Sept. 20, 2012. A boater found her body in Truman Lake on Sept. 30. Investigators think she died on Sept. 21 and Balbirnie put her weighted body in the lake that same day.

Balbirnie was originally charged in Oct. 2012 with abandonment of a corpse. That charge was dismissed late this summer after the attorney general's office entered the case.

Court documents state Khighla died while she and Balbirnie were having sexual relations and, "in the course of such offense, defendant inflicted serious physical injury." Khighla died of asphyxiation, the documents say.

The charging statement says the murder, rape, and molestation occurred in Dallas County. It says the child endangerment occurred in Greene and Dallas counties, the tampering with evidence occurred in Benton County, and abandonment of a corpse happened in Dallas and Benton counties.

The Benton County Circuit Clerk's Office says Balbirnie has not appeared in court on the charges filed on Oct. 17, and no court date is scheduled.

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