CHICAGO, IL – In a harrowing case that has gripped Chicago, new details have emerged in the strangulation death of 15-year-old Amarise Parker. Joshua Williams, 24, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the incident that occurred in the city’s South Shore neighborhood.
Prosecutors revealed that Williams and Parker were in a relationship at the time of her death. Parker, whose family had filed numerous missing persons reports due to her leaving home, was staying at Williams’s apartment on South Phillips Avenue. On December 10, Parker sought help from Williams’ neighbor, using his phone to call her mother for pickup. Although her mother attempted to retrieve her, Parker was not found until the next day when she managed to leave Williams’s residence under the guise of using the restroom.
Tragically, Parker returned to Williams’s home later that day. Neighbors reported hearing arguments between the two into the early hours of December 12. The situation took a dire turn when Williams called his cousin and a friend, claiming Parker was foaming at the mouth. Paramedics, upon arrival, discovered Parker unresponsive in an open closet, covered by a blanket with only her head exposed. A necklace was lodged in her throat, and she bore visible injuries, including cuts and scratches on her face and neck. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled her death a homicide by strangulation and asphyxiation, noting her crushed windpipe. Williams, who was present when authorities arrived, initially claimed that he and Parker had fallen asleep together and she did not wake up. He denied any arguments or fights between them.
However, the investigation took a chilling turn when police examined Williams’s phone. They discovered videos of Williams interacting with Parker’s deceased body around 6:30 p.m. on December 12. More disturbingly, his Google search history revealed over 50 searches related to strangulation, Parker’s name, the death penalty, murder, explaining an asphyxiation death, the penalty for murder, and overdosing on medication.
This case has not only brought to light the tragic end of a young girl’s life but also raised serious concerns about Williams’s past. He currently has a warrant out of Colorado Springs for strangulation and was charged in another strangulation case in 2019.
As the community reels from this tragedy, the case underscores the complexities of domestic violence and the digital footprints that can play a crucial role in criminal investigations. The Chicago Police Department continues its thorough investigation, committed to seeking justice for Parker and ensuring such a tragedy does not befall another family. This case, as it unfolds, will likely be a touchstone in discussions about violence against minors and the use of digital evidence in criminal proceedings.