• Last modified 394 days ago (April 19, 2023)


Man who killed himself accused of raping child

Staff writer

Marion police were investigating an alleged rape of a child younger than 14 when Charles Park committed suicide as two officers searched his home Monday.

Interim police chief Duane McCarty and sheriff’s deputy Aaron Christner went Monday morning to Park’s home at 341 S. 4th St. to take photos of both sides of his hands and a couch in his living room with and without a cover on it and to seize a dark or navy blue blanket, and a cushion from a blue couch, according to a search warrant filed in district court and obtained by the Record.

McCarty requested the search warrant April 6, and Judge Susan Robson signed it the same day, writing she had found probable cause.

During the search and interview, Park, 65, “reached for a shotgun that was hidden in the house. He then shot himself in front of the officers,” the KBI reported in a news release sent Monday evening.

KBI special agent Anthony Maness took into evidence cushions, a blanket, and photos, at 4:55 p.m. Monday, according to court records.

Deputy coroner Larry Larsen wrote in a death report filed Tuesday that McCarty and Christner were attempting to arrest Park when “all of a sudden, the deceased man stood up and placed a 12-gauge shotgun … to the area of his left eye. He then pulled the trigger on his own. The extended projectiles came in contact with the left side of his face, causing a non-survivable injury.”

Larsen’s report went on to describe the aftermath in sometimes graphic detail.

Park, whom police had been investigating for a while, has no criminal record in Marion County, a check of district court documents indicated. A public website the KBI maintains does not list him as a registered sex, violent, or drug offender.

County attorney Joel Ensey refused Tuesday to comment on the case, citing an ongoing investigation.

McCarty and Christner have been off work since Monday. Undersheriff Larry Starkey said Christner had been scheduled to work Tuesday. It was unclear whether McCarty — one of two full-time police officers — was.

Starkey said Tuesday that Christner already was scheduled to be off Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’ll wait and see how he’s doing Friday,” Starkey said.

Last modified April 19, 2023