A New Jersey man has been sentenced for the brutal murder of a woman and the subsequent dismemberment and burning of her body.
There was also evidence that the victim Tonya Cook, had been brutally raped and tortured before being decapitated, hacked to pieces, and burned.
Dennis Parrish has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of the heinous crime.
The Cumberland County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says the jury found Parrish guilty on six counts, including first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree desecration of human remains, third-degree hindering, fourth degree obstruction, and fourth-degree tampering with evidence.
Prosecutors say that Parrish beat Cook to death in his home in Vineland, New Jersey, and then dismembered and decapitated the body. He put her body parts into a rented truck and then dumped them in a farm field, where he set them ablaze.
Cook’s death was ruled a homicide, with the cause of death as blunt force trauma.
According to reports, Parrish confessed to the murder when he was arrested, allegedly telling the officer, “I tortured her.”
Authorities found evidence connecting Parrish to the crime scene—a burnt cardboard box with a sticker that authorities discovered was sent to Parrish’s house.
Police say that they found trash bags, matchsticks that matched those found in the field, and a Home Depot receipt for work gloves, a hand truck, rope, and an accelerant. There was also blood spatter found “throughout the house” that matched Cook’s DNA.
A truck rental and Parrish’s whereabouts matched Cook’s murder and dumping of her body, according to officials.
“The person was using the vehicle to pull out a two-foot sack,” a report reads. “U-Haul confirmed that Dennis Parrish rented a U-Haul pickup truck from 6/30/18 to 7/3/18. Surveillance shows a U-Haul truck driving towards the location where Cook’s body was located at 1:15 a.m. and on 7/2 and going back at 1:36 a.m. Surveillance from a nearby Wawa store shows Parrish parking a U-Haul at approx. 1:48 a.m. Parrish was the sole occupant.”
Parrish was arrested ten days after Cook’s body was found. He has now been sentenced to life in prison for her grisly murder.