Crackdown on Crime - Violent murder reopened

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been described as one of the most violent murders in Lake Charles history. In this week's Crackdown on Crime cold case, KPLC's Lee Peck takes a look back at the mystery surrounding Sheryl Parish's death.

It's been nearly ten years since 45-year-old Sheryl Parish's stepfather found her stabbed to death in her St. Mary Street apartment.

"He didn't hear from her, he went and checked on her residence. Didn't find any forcible entry and in doing so walked in on a horrific scene that probably scarred him and his family for life," said Lake Charles Police Sgt. Mark Kraus.

Kraus says Sheryl was found partially nude on the couch with multiple stab wounds to her back and chest.

"We have seen as bad and sometimes worse, but this is one of the worst we've seen in terms of violence and the absolute struggle that our victim had to survive," described Kraus.

Several things were out of place inside the home, but investigators believe perhaps the biggest indicator the murderer was trying to cover his tracks was in the kitchen.

"We believe that the suspect after he committed this crime turned the gas stove on in hopes it would burn the house down," said Kraus.

Police believe because of the violent nature of her death, Sheryl likely knew the person who cut her life short.

"Life has stood still in the life of this victim and the lives of this victim's family and we have an obligation as a police agency to right that wrong and that obligation is something this office will not every give up on," said Kraus.

That's why murder investigation is now re-opened with a fresh new set of eyes on the case. Kevin Thomas is the lead detective on the case. Anyone with information is asked to call him at 491-1311 or Crimestoppers at 439-2222. Calls can be made anonymously.

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