Willacoochee, GA - A New York woman on the run for eleven years was apprehended 11/18/2013 by the U. S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF) at a residence in the small town of Willacoochee, Georgia. Frances Parks was listed as one of New York State Parole’s Most Wanted fugitives for violating the conditions of her parole. Parks was on parole for her New York convictions on murder, rape, and robbery charges. In 1975, Parks and four others forced their way into an apartment in New York looking for money. A male and a female victim were robbed during the crime. During the robbery, the three male perpetrators assaulted and raped the female victim. Parks and the other four subjects assaulted, stabbed, strangled, and murdered the male victim.
After being paroled in New York, Parks left the New York area and was violated by New York Parole in 2002. For eleven years, Parks managed to evade authorities on this charge. After receiving information from the U. S. Marshals New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force (NYNJRFTF), the U. S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF) commenced an investigation to locate Parks in Willacoochee, Georgia. Information was received from New York detailing that Parks had surfaced in Georgia under an alias.
On 11/18/2013, SERFTF established surveillance on an address in Willacoochee, Georgia. During the operation, a person matching Parks’ description was observed at the residence and taken into custody. Initially, Parks denied her true identity and attempted to retreat into her home. Task force personnel pursued her into the home and took her into custody. Parks was transported to the Atkinson County Jail to await extradition to New York. Parks has an extensive criminal history to include arrests for murder, rape, robbery, firearm, burglary, and theft. She is also a registered sex offender in the state of New York.
Established in 1789, the United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. The U.S. Marshals Service is the federal government’s primary agency for fugitive investigations. In fiscal year 2012, the Marshals apprehended 36,302 federal fugitives, clearing approximately 39,423 felony warrants. Marshals-led fugitive task forces arrested 86,704 state and local fugitives in FY 2012, clearing approximately 114,311 state and local felony warrants.
The U. S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF) was created by the Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000. Congress recognized the U. S. Marshals expertise in tracking and apprehending dangerous fugitives and ordered the creation of regional fugitive task forces (RFTFs) in core cities throughout the country. Via this mandate, SERFTF was created in 2003 and has offices in Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah to assist state, county, and local agencies as a central investigative base to identify, locate and apprehend dangerous offenders.
Locally, the Savannah Division of SERFTF is composed of U. S. Marshals and state and local law enforcement officers from the Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Parole, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, the Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, and the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office.