A Florida woman caring for her minor grandchild on weekends has been charged with second-degree murder after she told police she gave him a fatal overdose because of concerns about who would care for him when she died, authorities said. ] Police responded to a call Sunday afternoon in Braden, Florida, about 40 miles south of Tampa, and found a grandson, Joel Parks, dead at the scene. Tuesday's press conference. Mr. Parks was discovered by a sister.
Mr. The 30-year-old Parks lived with his grandmother and part-time, 87-year-old Lillian Parks on weekends and in a group home during the week, Capt. Thiers said. Mr Parks could not take care of himself, but details of his exact health were unknown, he added.
"He was worried about his medical condition and was worried who would look after him if she died," he added. Mr Parks' father has died and his mother is estranged, said Captain Thiers.
Mrs. Parks was taken into protective medical custody for evaluation, police said.
Captain Thiers said on Wednesday that a judge had signed an arrest warrant for Ms. Parkes on second-degree murder charges.
As soon as she is released from medical care, we will take her into custody on these charges, "said Captain Thiers.
He emphasized that the investigation was ongoing and that it was still unknown how Ms. Parkes had given to his grandson a fatal overdose or what substance she used.
"Much of this depends on autopsy and a toxicology report to determine what the real cause of death is," said Captain Thiers. " right now we're just giving up on her statements. "
There are no signs of physical trauma
"This is a difficult case for detectives," Captain Thiers told a press conference. "In part, we feel bad for an individual who feels that the only option is to take the life of another human being because he is so worried about his care after they left. "
Cases like this happen with some regularity, Peter Burns, CEO of Arc, a national advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities , said on Wednesday.
"Too often we hear parents or caregivers who kill their disabled family members or carers. for, "he said. "It's tragic that this happens with the frequency at which it occurs. This is just a horrible crime. And like most murders, there's no excuse for that. ”
Mr. Burns cited Mourning Disabled People's Day, a site that maintains a list of disabled people who were killed by family members or caregivers. The site reports 64 deaths so far in 2019.
Mr. Burns suggested that estimates of such killings were generally low. "There are many of those cases that are never identified as murder," he said. "It happens too often."
He said that he believed that this case should be prosecuted within the law. "Even if one does not receive services, murder is not the solution," he said.
"There are many and many family situations where you have parents or other family members who are concerned about their loved ones with disabilities. It never crosses their mind to kill them. “