Kenneth Franklin Cutter, 40, has confessed to killing Kimberly Parrish, a 40-year-old West Columbia mother of two who was reported missing two days before Christmas in 2012. He was sentenced this week to 31 years in prison.
In his guilty plea, Cutter said he burned Parrish’s body on Dec. 21, 2012, the Orangeburg Times and Democrat reported.
Kimberly Parrish apparently met her killer through her husband. Both Cutter and Michael Parrish were in the car repossession business. Cutter rode along with the more experienced Parrish to gather tips on how to improve his own repossession numbers, Parrish told the Orangeburg paper.
Kimberly Parrish was last seen at Helping Hands Caregivers at 9444 Two Notch Road in Columbia, where she picked up her paycheck the morning of Dec. 21. One of her friends told investigators that Kimberly was going to meet Cutter and his family for lunch the day she disappeared.
Though Cutter was not initially a suspect, investigators found lots of blood, one of Parrish’s shoes, a contact lens and a $14,000 check made out to Kimberly Parrish in an empty house across the street from Cutter’s mother’s house in the town of North, 1st Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe said.
Cutter has been jailed as a suspect since Dec. 28, 2012. He pleaded guilty to the murder last Thursday.
His public defender told Circuit Court Judge Ed Dickson on Monday at his sentencing that her client wanted to take responsibility in the death and that he wanted to spare Parrish’s family a trial.
Cutter apologized to his family, Parrish’s family and the court before he was sentenced.
The Associated Press contributed.