Elizabeth man sentenced to life in prison for murdering wife

An Elizabeth man recently convicted of murdering his wife a little more than three years ago has been sentenced to life in state prison, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.

Reco Parks, 51, was sentenced Friday by state Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega. A Union County jury last month deliberated over the course of two days following a three-week trial before returning a guilty verdict against Parks in connection with the death of 45-year-old Thya Wilson.

The date was January 6, 2012 when police rushed to the Oakwood Plaza housing complex on Parker Road in Elizabeth on a report of a body found in a second-floor hallway of one of the complex’s buildings, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors Albert Cernadas Jr. and Meghan Tomlinson, who prosecuted the case.

A joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Elizabeth Police Department determined that Parks had stabbed and struck his wife dozens of times following an argument, causing her fatal injuries. He then stuffed Wilson’s body into a suitcase, where it sat in their bedroom for two days.

Parks then dumped his wife’s body outside of his own apartment in an effort to make it appear that she had been attacked and killed by someone else as she was coming home. But DNA evidence obtained from the suitcase and bedroom was instrumental in proving what had really happened, Cernadas said.