DanielParks 2 smallThanks to the bravery of a woman who came forward after 34 years of torment and pain stemming from being raped when she was only eight years old, a monster has no place to hide.  Through years of numbing her agony with drugs and making a slew of bad decisions, she finally sought counseling in hopes of healing from her traumatic ordeal. As a way of therapy and seeking justice, her counselor convinced her to go to authorities to tell them what happened to her.

Soon after she reported the crime, Jefferson Parish detectives investigated her story and within a year her case was tried. At last, she would have the distinct pleasure of taking the witness stand to face the man whose brutality almost ruined her life.  Daniel Parks Sr. was found guilty. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison.

He can no longer hide behind a smile on his face or his friendly disposition; nor behind his honorary badge “volunteer firefighter.” The mask is off.  He is a monster.  A monster of the worst kind because he also betrayed her father, his best friend at the time, by raping the man’s 8-year old daughter who he had entrusted to take care of her while he went to work.

This is not the only crime against a child associated to Daniel Parks Sr.  There may be another victim.

Snipped from Nola.com

In the 1990s, she said she confronted Parks in his kitchen, while he cooked gumbo during a seafood boil he and his wife hosted. It was then, she said, that Parks lashed out at her, warning her she would end up like Stephanie Hebert, the slain Waggaman girl who lived only blocks from Parks and whom Parks’ wife babysat before the little girl was killed.

*Note: Daniel Parks was there when his wife babysat Stephanie Hebert and he was friends with the Hebert family as well.  The rape victim and Stephanie were also best friends.

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On a hot summer afternoon, June 13, 1978 an innocent little girl disappeared from Live Oak Floral Acres Subdivision nestled on the river banks of Waggaman, LA.

Stephanie

Stephanie Hebert

Five-year-old Stephanie Lynn Hebert could not be found. The recent kindergarten graduate was last seen by her mother at 2:30 PM. She  told her mother she was going to play at a friend’s home three doors away but reportedly never got there.  She had blond hair, blue-eyes and wore baby blue rimmed glasses.

As helicopters scanned by air, about 100 deputies and fifty or so volunteers pushed forward on foot through the dense woods and swamp areas of the subdivision searching relentlessly for Stephanie. They called for heavy equipment to help give searchers access to areas covered in the underbrush and vegetation. The term “leaving no stone unturned” comes to mind, however Stephanie would not be found for months.  On November 29, 1978 she was found 12 miles away, tied to a tree, left to die.

After 72-hours of searching Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office felt strongly that there had been a kidnapping. JPSO spokesman, Lt. Harold Klibert said this area around Waggaman was extensively searched and the chance that the girl simply walked away and got lost was very slim.

Stephanie’s mother Joyce Hebert agreed saying ” Stephanie is all girl. She wouldn’t walk very far away from the house and get lost in the woods.”  The FBI was soon called in to determine federal kidnapping violation statutes if need be.

During the search, a lead developed. An ice cream truck vendor said  between 4:30 and 5:00 PM on the same day she disappeared, he sold 2 sticks of cotton candy to a girl that looked like Stephanie and she was with a woman wearing heavy make-up.  The ice cream vendor’s 14-year old daughter added that she saw the pair walking toward a 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

An 8-year old boy from the neighborhood later said he saw Stephanie about 5:30 PM with a woman of similar description about four blocks from the Hebert home but according to law enforcement this lead fizzled out.  No car or woman of that description were found but there may some truth to this story.

Stephanie lived at 117 Aster Lane.  Daniel Parks lived at 125 Evergold Lane.  Count the blocks.  Daniel Parks lived exactly 4 blocks away from the Hebert home.

Google Screen Shot

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After 34 years, it’s understandable that a murder case would go cold.  The zealous Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has put in thousands of hours investigating this case.  In 2009, they were certain that the 16-year old brother of Stephanie’s friend Leesie was responsible for her death.  Stephanie had spent the night before at Leesie’s house and 2 days after Stephanie’s disappearance, his mother sent him back to live with his father out of state.

The detectives were relying on DNA to arrest this person, (now almost a 50 year-old man), but the DNA didn’t match.  No doubt, after 30 years of trying to solve this child’s murder, they were very dishearten but consider where this case is today? A lot has changed  since 2009.  Daniel Parks Sr. is a much stronger suspect.

Needless to say JPSO owes a bundle of gratitude to the rape victim for coming forward.  In my opinion she is a very courageous woman and I pray that she will live the rest of her life in peace and perhaps give courage to other victims of child molestation/rape to come forward as well.

Without DNA exonerating the other suspect, its possible an innocent person may have been arrested for this crime, changing his life forever.  Stranger things have happened.

In any case I’m just thrilled to say…

JPSO has officially announced, “Daniel Parks Sr. IS a suspect in the murder of Stephanie Lynn Hebert.”  Carpe Diem!

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Merry Christman Everybody!

TheJBMission~

Sources:

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/12/waggaman_suspect_in_unsolved_1.html

http://thejbmission.com/2010/06/05/the-unsolved-murder-of-6yo-stephanie-lynn-hebert/

Daniel Parks initial arrest for rape

http://www.jpso.com/PressReleases/Default.aspx?prid=677