Corey Parker’s Murder: How Did She Die? Who Killed Her?

Image Credit: NBC's Dateline

When beautiful and popular Corey Parker did not show up for work after Thanksgiving, her co-workers and friends grew worried. One of them decided to check if she was alright. She was not. Corey Parker had been murdered. She had been brutally stabbed with a knife over a hundred times by her neighbor, Robert Denney. Investigation Discovery’s ‘A Time to Kill’ explores Corey’s murder in an episode titled ‘The Night Creeper.’ Corey’s murder took almost two years to solve. If you are curious to know more about the case, we have you covered.

How Did Corey Parker Die?

Corey Parker was a young girl with a bag full of dreams. She was a graduate of Brighton High School. Thereafter, she took classes at the local college and waitressed at Ragtime Tavern in Atlantic Beach. The thing that gave her the most happiness was being independent. So when Corey found an apartment at Fourth Street and 15th Avenue North in Jacksonville, she was excited.

However, this excitement soon gave away to discomfort and feelings of unease as another resident from Corey’s apartment building reported spotting a peeping tom looking into Corey’s windows. Corey was mostly seen at the back of her apartment in the kitchen after that.  NBC’s ‘Dateline’ episode, ‘Rear Window,’ mentions that photos from the day before Thanksgiving in 1998 showed Corey partying with her friends at the Ritz, which was her usual spot.

In the same episode, Corey’s friend says that Corey had promised to visit her friend’s house the next day. However, Corey never showed up. The day after Thanksgiving, on November 27, 1998, Corey was supposed to report for a morning shift at the restaurant she waited tables at. One of the employees, who was also a friend of Corey’s, proposed to check on her. He returned to the restaurant, saying Corey hadn’t answered the door.

He was made to go back and check again. This time he could spot an opening in the blinds of Corey’s window. He saw Corey’s bloodied foot. He raced back to the restaurant, and the authorities were informed. The officers who were dispatched to the scene entered her apartment and found Corey dead in a pool of blood. There were clear signs pointing towards a homicide.

An autopsy report of Corey’s body accounted for around 101 slash wounds. Chief Medical Examiner Margarita Arruza testified that Corey sustained defensive wounds on her right hand. A fatal wound severed two major arteries in Corey’s neck as well. Authorities retrieved evidence from the crime scene in hopes of being able to find a DNA match, and an investigation also ensued. However, Corey’s case remained unsolved till almost two years after her death.

Who Killed Corey Parker?

It was Corey Parker’s neighbor, Robert Denney, who killed her. The investigators at the crime scene had noticed a bloodstain that apparently belonged to the killer. They also found a strand of hair belonging to someone else. This evidence was used to locate a DNA match among people who knew or were acquainted with Corey. The investigators were unsuccessful in identifying a promising lead for a year.

Subsequently, they averted their attention towards Robert Denney, who had allegedly told his friends about his crush on Corey. This crush had turned into an unhealthy obsession as Denney had apparently started spying on her and fantasizing about her. Denney managed to outsmart the investigators who tried to lure him into providing DNA samples. Nonetheless, the officers kept a close eye on him, expecting Denney to make one small error. Denney slipped up and spat on the ground one day while working.

Sgt. Billy Carlyle of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department collected the spit after Denney left work and took it to the FBI lab in Washington. This sample was then used to draw DNA test reports, which matched the DNA of the hair strand and the blood in Corey’s apartment. Following this, Denney was arrested. Despite his consistent denials and few additional and unexplained pieces of evidence, Denney was convicted and then sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.

Read More: Where Is Robert Denney Now?