Zachary Hughes concert pianist murders Christina Parcell Greer veterinary hospital worker. Victim was engaged to man arrested for child sexual exploitation. No known motive.
A Juilliard-trained concert pianist from South Carolina has been accused of murdering a veterinary hospital worker at her Greer home last month.
The classically trained pianist, Zachary David Hughes was arrested on Thursday according to a statement from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
Hughes, who attended the prestigious NYC theater school, was charged with murder and weapons possession during the commission of a ‘violent’ crime stemming from the October 13 killing of 41-year-old Christina Larain Parcell.
Parcell, a mother-of-one working as a veterinary technician, was found with multiple stab wounds in her Greer home. Of note, the woman’s fiancé Bradly Post was arrested for child sexual exploitation and child porn offenses on October 20. Police stated that they do not believe that case is linked to Parcell’s killing the Greenville Online reported.
During a Thursday press conference Sheriff Hobart Lewis said investigators had yet to determine a motive behind what he described as a ‘very violent’ attack. ‘It was a very brutal crime scene, for sure,’ the sheriff added.
Victim was targeted – but why?
According to Lewis, surveillance video from Parcell’s neighbors and physical evidence found at the scene tied Hughes to the crime scene.
The 29-year-old suspect turned himself in to the authorities on Wednesday night after a warrant for his arrest was issued and was booked into the county jail.
The sheriff said investigators do not know whether Hughes and Parcell knew each other prior to the incident, while saying the victim was ‘targeted.’ .
Lewis also said it ‘doesn’t look like he (Hughes) has any criminal history.’
Prior child custody battle
Posted the classically trained pianist on a personal website:
‘Digging fencepost holes and wrestling rams was as familiar a daily experience for him as dissecting Bach Fugues and scaling Beethoven sonatas, and to this day he values the early connection he formed with nature and hard work,” the website says. “Being homeschooled afforded him ample practice time, and his early love of piano was only rivaled by an infatuation with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Free time not spent practicing piano was employed crafting wooden replica swords from the LOTR books and movies and taking them into the Appalachian woods to do battle with the forces of darkness.’
Parcell is survived by her eight-year-old daughter. The girl’s biological father was arrested on October 25 and charged with violating a custody order, transporting a child under age 16 and not returning her within 72 hours.
Last year, Parcell launched a GoFundMe campaign, seeking donations to help pay her lawyer during a custody battle with her daughter’s father, who she claimed had traveled with the child out of the country.
Less than a week after her killing, Parcell’s current fiancé, Bradly Post, was arrested and charged with five counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor for allegedly producing illicit child images according to WYFF.