Previously in “How I Caught My Killer,” we saw the case of Nikki, who was brutally murdered for being herself. The world is an unfair place where we witness countless crimes every day. Some cases go cold; others catch our eye. Candice Parchment’s story is unique. Candice was a sweet 15-year-old girl who helped solve her own murder case. Candice lived in Georgia and mysteriously disappeared on April 28, 2010. Her mother was worried about her disappearance, but when she reported her case to the police, they did not take it seriously. Often, we see how the officials fail to give answers to families who report their child missing.
Candice was someone who had big dreams and wanted to become a writer. She had a journal in which she used to write down her thoughts. She was also very popular at her school and was well-liked. When Candice went missing, her mother received two texts from Candice’s phone. One of them stated that she was okay, and the other stated that she was in Tennessee. However, her mother knew that Candice would not just up and leave. She was someone who was very reliable and was definitely not a runaway. The police did not have any answers to give to Candice’s mother, who claimed that the texts were not from Candice and that she could not have been in Tennessee.
On November 24, 2010, a body was found. The body was found a few hundred yards from Candice’s place, but to identify the body, the police needed hard evidence. They searched the whole area and found an earring and a jacket. At first, the police were not sure whose body it was, so they searched the internet to find some leads. Soon, they found a picture of Candice wearing the same jacket. The detective who was leading the case, Ashley Melvin, informed Candice’s mother, who was devastated. Ashley promised Candice’s mother that he would find out who did this to her daughter and why. However, Ashley Melvin had no leads. The police did not know where to start or who to question. The coroners informed the police that Candice was stabbed in the chest and the manner of death indicated a homicide. It was Ashley Melvin’s first homicide case, and it was terrifying for him to see the body of a young girl. Ashley was determined to find out who did it. He took his team to Candice’s high school and started questioning the kids. The first person of interest was My’Lik Hamlett. He was Candice’s best friend, and the police started looking at Hamlett as a suspect. According to him, the police were looking at the wrong person since he loved her very dearly. Hamlett said he would never harm her, and that Candice and he had shared a good bond. He did not know anything about Candice’s murder. The police started looking through My-Lik’s phone to find clues, but they did not find anything. My’Lik did not take offense when the police saw him as a suspect because he wanted to find out the truth too. The police heard a lot of rumors about Candice at the school. Some said she ran away with a trucker, and some said she had been killed by a serial killer.
In Clayton, a 17-year-old girl disappeared on October 16, 2010. She was murdered by a person named Artemio Hernandez. He was in jail for the crime, and the police started noticing similarities between the two cases. Monica Ambriz had been stabbed in the chest by Artemio, and the modus operandi was the same in Candice’s case. Ashley Melvin requested that the area’s police arrange a meeting with Artemio Hernandez. According to Ashley, Artemio Hernandez was someone who took pride in killing, so he would tell the police if his first victim was Candice. Weeks after finding the body of Candice, Ashley Melvin interviewed Artemio Hernandez. However, Artemio said he had never seen the girl. He admitted to killing Monica but said he had not done anything to Candice. The police had no evidence to convict Artemio. Candice’s family needed justice, and detective Ashley Melvin was getting frustrated. Soon, he had his eye on another suspect. Trey Jenkins was someone who had done bad things. He had sexually assaulted two young girls and somehow knew Candice. He had communicated with Candice on one occasion; however, the police did not have enough evidence to convict him either. The police deduced that Trey Jenkins was not in the area the night Candice disappeared.
Sixteen months go by, and the police have no leads in Candice’s case. It would have been a cold case if Candice’s mother had not read her diary. On October 11, 2011, Candice’s mother called Ashley Melvin. She was restless and rushed to the police station with Candice’s diary. In her diary, they found out that Candice had sneaked out of her house one night to meet two boys. Jermaine and Marshae had called Candice in a secluded house. When she reached the abandoned place at night, she was scared. Jermaine and Marshae then attacked her and tried to unzip her pants. She was frightened and fighting the men, but she felt helpless at the same time. A car came to the driveway of the abandoned house, and Candice ran away. She wrote about her horrible experience in her diary but did not have the courage to tell others that she had been sexually assaulted by two friends. Marshae was in jail for burglary, and Ashley Melvin interviewed him. In the interview, Marshae said that he did not harm Candice and that he had seen someone following her to the woods the night she disappeared. The police then questioned Jermaine, who confessed that Marshae had killed Candice. He called him crazy and put all the blame on Marshae. The police then played a trick. They made Marshae believe that they had found his DNA on Candice’s body. Upon hearing this, Marshae believed her crimes had come to light and thus confessed to killing Candice. He had done so because he was scared, she would go and tell others about the sexual assault. Marshae was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and since Jermaine had sexually assaulted Candice, he was sentenced to 10 years.
The second episode of “How I Caught My Killer” tells us how a young life was not taken seriously; she was killed mercilessly because her killer was scared she would tell the truth to others. Even though Candice was popular and bright, she could not share her secret with even her closest friends. Nobody knew what she was going through or how horrible the night was for her. Candice Parchment was a young girl with big dreams, but her life was taken too soon. Marshae wrote an apology letter to Candice’s mother, but will that bring her back? According to her friend My’Lik, this case would have gone cold like so many cases, which are unheard of and do not get recognition had it not been for Candice’s diary entry revealing the truth.