Almost a quarter century ago, a 14-month-old boy named Christopher Parmley was found abandoned in a dirty diaper miles from his Texas home.
After images of the blond, blue-eyed boy were plastered across Houston media, police learned he was the son of a pregnant woman found raped and strangled beside a rural Montgomery County road. Now at age 25, Parmley saw a man plead guilty this week to murdering his mother.
The Houston Chronicle reports 50-year-old Robert Lawrence Wilson was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of Tammy Bounds on Tuesday. His charge was reduced to murder from capital murder as part of the plea bargain in Montgomery County.
"When I watch my wife, who's 6 1/2 months pregnant now, I particularly feel how horrible an act that was," Parmley said after Wilson's plea and sentencing. "My mother was eight months pregnant with my brother when she died. He killed two people that day."
Bounds was last seen alive on the morning of June 21, 1990. Her body was found wrapped in a blanket in a wooded area near Splendora. Police say Parmley was at home with his mother during the attack.
Wilson lived in the same apartment complex as Bounds. He initially told police he heard a man confess to being the killer, but was not himself linked to the death until scientific advancements allowed the cold case to be reopened.
DNA samples taken from Bounds' body came up a positive match for Wilson, who was then living in Lancaster, California. He was listed in the criminal database because of prior incarcerations, mostly property offenses.
Wilson spent the last three year in jail waiting for the case to be resolved. That means he could become eligible for parole in 4 1/2 years.
Attorneys on both sides said the plea bargain was fair and that it would have been problematic to bring a prosecution or present a defense after so much time.
After his mother's death, he lived with his paternal grandparents until he was 3. He was adopted and raised by a woman they knew at church. He now lives in Plantersville, about 30 miles northwest of The Woodlands, where he works servicing water wells. He and his wife are expecting a baby boy by Christmas.
"I guess I got some closure (with the conviction)," Parmley said. "But I didn't want a plea bargain."
He said he plans to fight any effort to parole Wilson.