UPDATE, FEB. 5, 2:34 P.M.: Gary Lee Parsons and his wife Barbara, ages 74 and 73 respectively, engaged in a physical fight early Tuesday before the husband threw her onto their bed and strangled the life out of her, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA). The man then tucked her into their bed and drove off from their Mission Viejo home in his car before calling a family member who contacted the Orange County Sheriff's Department about the crime, the OCDA alleges.
Mr. Parsons called the sheriff's department about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, shortly before pulling his car into his driveway and just sitting inside the car, says the OCDA, which adds deputies found the body of Mrs. Parsons before placing her husband under arrest for her murder. Prosecutors have charged Gary Lee Parsons with one felony count of murder, which could lead to sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. He was being held on $1 million bail heading into an arraignment hearing in Santa Ana today.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 4, 8:04 A.M.: A 74-year-old man's call Tuesday afternoon to 9-1-1 to say he killed his wife led deputies to his Mission Viejo home, where they found the woman's body inside the house and the caller inside a vehicle parked outside, according to the sheriff's department.
Gary Lee Parsons is now inside Orange County Jail, being held in lieu of $1 million bail and on suspicion of murdering his 73-year-old wife Barbara Parsons.
He made the call to authorities from the couple's residence in the 27000 block of Pueblo Nuevo around 12:35 p.m. Tuesday, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock, the sheriff's spokesman.
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"Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears Gary and Barbara were involved in a physical altercation inside the residence," Hallock says. "During the altercation, Barbara suffered what appears to be fatal injuries; however, the Orange County Coroner Division will determine the manner and cause of death following completion of their investigation. Investigators have not determined a motive for the homicide."
Neighbors told television reporters who descended on the neighborhood that the Parsons had been acting strangely for the past year.
Investigators are seeking more information. If you know something, contact the sheriff's department at 714.647.7000 or 714.647.7044. Anonymous tips may be left with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS), via occrimestoppers.org or by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) from a cell phone. (All text messages should begin with the letters "OCCS".)