By Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
EAST POINT, Ga. — She wasn't just good at her job. Cpl. Crystal Adele Parker was the type of police officer her chief wanted training new East Point officers.
Her devotion to her job and her kind personality made her a leader among peers, fellow officers and family members said Tuesday night. But two days after Parker was found dead, her former roommate became a murder suspect.
Parker, 34, may have been dead for three days before she was found shot to death inside her home, Cpl. Kay Lester with Fulton County police said. But within hours of confirmation Tuesday that she was a homicide victim, her alleged killer was arrested.
Tuesday evening, U.S. Marshals and Fulton County police arrested 30-year-old Danielle Alexis Parker, according to Jim Joyner with the Marshals Service. Danielle Parker was being questioned before being formally charged with homicide, Lester said at an evening press conference.
The women were former roommates, but investigators declined to release a possible motive, Lester said.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Crystal Parker was the victim of homicide. Parker died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to Investigator Betty Honey with the ME's office.
A six-year employee with the East Point Police Department, Crystal Parker was found dead inside her south Fulton County home Sunday night, according to police. Police declined to release many details in the case before the autopsy results were released, but held a press conference Tuesday night that included Fulton and East Point officers, as well as two of Crystal Parker's family members.
East Point Police Chief Woodrow Blue said the slain officer, voted the city's 2012 Officer of the Year, had a personnel file full of accolades and was in line for a promotion.
"She's going to be sorely missed," Blue said. "She was a great officer."
Police declined to release information about a possible motive in the shooting death, but said the investigation continues. It wasn't known if Crystal Parker's death was related to a burglary at her home last month, Lester said.
Crystal Parker's Creel Road home was burglarized June 16 and cash, jewelry and an Xbox Kinect were taken, Lester said. No arrests have been in made in that case.
Tuesday night, Joseph Parker, Crystal Parker's father, thanked officers from both departments for their efforts. Joseph Parker said he didn't know the alleged killer well and couldn't comment on the investigation. Instead, he focused on his daughter.
"She was a kind person, very loving human being," Joseph Parker said. "She was a smart girl. She was talking about going back to college and continuing in her field."
Funeral plans have not yet been finalized.
Photographer Ben Gray contributed to this report.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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