Fisherman finds body in Des Plaines River, family finds solace
BY BOB OKON SUN-TIMES MEDIA April 13, 2013 12:20PM
Updated: April 14, 2013 3:45PM
The family of a missing Will County woman who authorities believe was stabbed to death by her own son last month said they were relieved to hear that a fisherman found her body Saturday in the Des Plaines River near the Hollywood Casino in Joliet.
“That’s my sister,” Cynthia Parker-Mackins said, based on information from the police, who would not confirm the body was that of 54-year-old Jeanie Parker, believed to have been killed March 21.
Authorities have said Parker’s son, Charles “C.J.” McCullum, 21, told police he stabbed Parker and threw her body in the Des Plaines River. He has been charged with murder and is being held at the Will County Jail.
“This is a glorious day,” said Parker-Mackins, describing the relief family members felt at the news and the closure. “God has her soul. But we wanted her body. We can put her to rest.”
The family has been agonizing over the loss of Parker as three weeks of searches of the river had failed to turn up the body.
“Thank God for that fisherman,” said Parker-Mackins, who had feared that her sister’s body could be lost in the river forever.
The Joliet police would not confirm that the body was that of Parker. But Parker’s brother, Darrell Williams, said they told him they believe it was her because of the stab wounds found on the body. Williams said he got a call from the police at 10:05 a.m. and that they told him a positive identification hadn’t been made but that it appeared to be his sister.
The Will County coroner’s office said there were indications of “multiple stab wounds” but added, “The subject’s identification is being withheld pending positive, scientific identification.”
Earlier, the police had found blood in Parker’s house on Fifth Avenue and two blood-covered knives. They have said McCullum showed them where he threwnhis mother’s body into the river, near Bluff Park, south of Jefferson Street.
Parker’s family had planned a vigil on Sunday with the help of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, where Parker was a member and an usher. Now, that service will be converted to a celebration, said Parker-Mackins, who said she doesn’t see any reason to wait for an official identificatione.
“It’s been tortuous,” Parker-Mackins said of the past three weeks. “It’s been non-sleeping. It’s been crying and sadness. But that’s over now.”