In July 2014, Jack Parkes was fatally shot in his own home. The heinous murder shocked everyone, especially his fiancée, as Jack’s life was cruelly taken away a mere six weeks before his wedding. As friends and family tried their best to come to grips with the slaying, the police investigation began to hint towards a perpetrator much closer to home. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Murder in the Heartland: Death Before Marriage’ draws a picture of the brutal murder and how the police managed to do justice to the victim. Let’s dig deeper into this case and find out where the perpetrator is at present, shall we?
How Did Jack Parkes Die?
Jack Parkes and his fiancée Carol Lapaglia lived together in Kennedy Township, Pennsylvania. The couple had spent over 25 years together and were looking forward to trying the knot. Their marriage was set for just six weeks after the murder, but the cruel incident took Carol’s fiancé away from her forever. While reminiscing, Carol even mentioned how Jack was a soft-spoken and helpful man who loved making others smile. The fateful day of July 21, 2014, started as a typical one as Carol left her home for work at around 5:40 am.
The couple was planning to sell Jack’s mother’s home, and as a result, Carol kept receiving calls from a real estate agent, so she wanted to get in touch with Jack. Yet, strangely, Jack was unreachable over phone or text. Anxious, Carol left work at around 2:30 pm and went home to check on her fiancé. Upon entering their property, Carol was surprised as she found the garage door and deck door open. Moreover, the door to the house was bolted using a deadbolt which the couple never used. Suspicious of foul play, Carol entered the house and found Jack lying on the floor with blood pooled near his head.
Jack Parkes was unresponsive. Carol immediately called 911 and reported the incident before trying to resuscitate her fiancé. When the police arrived at the crime scene, they declared Jack Parkes dead. An autopsy further determined that the victim had died from a single gunshot to the head. The police believed that Jack knew his attacker and had even let the perpetrator get close before he was shot from behind. Additionally, authorities found that the couple’s bedroom had been rifled through and furniture lay strewn about, hinting at a robbery. There was also some jewelry missing from the house.
Who Killed Jack Parkes?
When the police noticed that quite a hefty amount of jewelry was missing, they began contacting local pawn shop owners knowing that the robber will have to sell it off. Incidentally, their search ended at a specific shop owner who told police that a couple had tried to pawn several damaged jewelry pieces on July 21, the day of the murder. The pieces were confirmed to be from Jack’s house, and the shop owner pointed the police in the direction of Bryan. According to the show, Bryan was a repeat offender who kept going in and out of jail.
However, authorities could not find anything that would link him to the crime. As the police set about eradicating suspects off their list through investigation, they received another call from a different pawn shop. The owner of the second shop informed police that on July 22, a young man had pawned off several damaged jewelry and that she had a record of the sale along with the man’s identity. Surprisingly, the seller turned out to be Carol’s nephew, Michael Lapaglia. The police then picked up Michael and his girlfriend, Melanie, and brought them in for questioning.
The couple initially denied any involvement in the murder, and Melanie claimed that the jewelry belonged to her father. However, once the police managed to put Michael on the crime scene through phone records, he came clean and confessed to the murder. He told police that he met the victim at the crime scene on the fateful day, and the two had gotten into an altercation which set the gun off, killing Jack. Following his confession, Michael Lapaglia was arrested and charged with murder.
Where Is Michael Lapaglia Now?
According to the show, once Michael Lapaglia was put on trial, the prosecution alleged that there was no altercation and he had murdered Jack Parkes in cold blood. Subsequently, the jury found him guilty of first-degree murder along with a burglary and a robbery charge in June 2015. Michael was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the first-degree murder, while the burglary and robbery charges added another 10-20 years to his prison sentence. At present, Michael Lapaglia remains incarcerated at the Mercer State Correctional Institution in Mercer, Pennsylvania.
Read More: Where Is Carol Lapaglia Now?