Man admits torture before chopping, burning woman’s body, cops say
VINELAND — A man taken into custody for the death of Tonya Cook has been charged with her death.
During a court appearance in Vineland on Tuesday Dennis Parrish, 52 was charged with first-degree murder, obstructing justice, tampering or fabricating physical evidence and hindering apprehension, according to Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McCrae.
Parrish was previously charged with desecration of human remains and moving human remains but not homicide.
The additional charges were announced during a court appearance on Monday and in a criminal complaint obtained by New Jersey 101.5.
Cook's body was found dismembered and burned in a wooded area off Banks Road in Lawrence in Cumberland County on July 2.
The complaint said Parrish dismembered Cook at his home on West Arbor Avenue in Vineland and attempted to clean and conceal evidence. He transported her remains to Banks Road where he set them on fire. After leaving the remains he rented a room at the Luxury Inn & Suites in Absecon where he was arrested.
According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by the Daily Journal, investigators said they found blood, a hatchet, trash bags and a can of lighter fluid at his home. They also said they found gold flakes that also had been found on Cook's hands.
When he was arrested, Parrish told state troopers that he had "tortured" Cook, according to the affidavit.
Investigators said witnesses had seen Parrish put a 2-foot sack into the back of a U-Haul truck.
Authorities have not said what motivated the slaying or why the two were together.
Parrish is due in court on August 23 for a pre-indictment conference.