East St. Louis Police Chase Ends With Discovery of a Decomposing Corpse

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Updated Friday 8:36 a.m.:
Michael Parker was "nearly blind" - Image via projectjason.org
Image via projectjason.org
Michael Parker was "nearly blind"
The St. Clair County Coroner completed an autopsy and confirmed that the body belongs to Michael Parker. The official cause of death is still unknown (a toxicology report is pending) but there are no signs of trauma and, as a result, Illinois State Police do not believe Parker was murdered.

Original story follows...

An East St. Louis police lieutenant was hot on the trail of a driver that fled a traffic stop on foot...until the unmistakable stench of months-old dead body stopped the cop in his tracks.

The officer, Lance Murphy, investigated the aroma and discovered what is believed to be the remains of Michael Parker, a disabled Granite City man who went missing earlier this year in East St. Louis.

Parker, 53, was last seen February 5 wandering around Sixth Street and Martin Luther King Drive. The body was found three blocks away in a vacant lot on 200 Rear N Fifth Street.

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An autopsy is scheduled for later this afternoon to confirm the identity of the deceased.

Carolyn P. Smith of the Belleville News-Democrat describes the circumstances of Parker's disappearance:
Police in February released a video that shows Parker disoriented in the area of Sixth Street and Martin Luther King Drive in East St. Louis between 4 and 6 p.m. on Feb. 5.

Parker apparently removed his coat during a cold rain and entered a parked vehicle that did not belong to him. The coat was later recovered, assistant Granite City police chief Maj. Jeff Connor said.

Later that evening, about 10:45 p.m., police recovered Parker's identification card and other personal documents at the corner of Sixth Street and Washington Avenue in St. Louis.

In mid-February, investigators recovered what they believed to be one of Parker's canes in the area of Sixth Street in East St. Louis.
According to an earlier report from the Alton Telegraph, Parker was five-feet two-inches tall and weighed 125 pounds. He reportedly needed two canes to walk and was "nearly blind" and heavily medicated.

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