Human remains found in an Arkansas field have been positively identified as a woman who was reported missing by her boyfriend on Jan. 17, officials confirm to PEOPLE.
On Jan. 17, 42-year-old Christy Rooks was last seen leaving her boyfriend Earl Parks’ home in Hazen, Arkansas, according to local TV station WREG. He reported her missing and investigators began searching for her.
Her mother, Nellie Rooks, told the news station she was frantic because it was unusual for her daughter to not call home.
“I’m scared somebody’s hurt her,” Nellie told WREG. “And then it’s been cold and I’m thinking she’s somewhere hurt and she’s cold … You think everything. You really do.”
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On Jan. 24, investigators “received evidence,” which allowed them to retain a search warrant for 725 acres of land outside of Hazen, according to a press release from the Prairie County Sheriff’s Department.
As a result, officials discovered Rooks’ body, which had been buried on the property, the press release stated.
“I just stumbled upon what looked like a grave and I told the guys ‘I think this is it,’ and that’s where we found her,” Prairie County Sheriff Rick Hickman told WREG.
This is the first homicide investigation in the county since Hickman became sheriff three years ago, he tells PEOPLE. As soon as he was alerted to the case, he says he was determined to find out what happened.
“When we get something big, we go after it,” he says. “We chased the leads and it worked for us.”
Parks, 47, was charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm. He is currently being held without bail.
He will appear in front of a judge on March 16 when he will be able to enter a plea. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney.