A DeLand resident has been charged with first-degree murder after his brutally beaten live-in girlfriend died as a result of her injuries Dec. 9.
Christopher Parker, 31, was originally charged with aggravated battery and violation of probation after police responded to the old Dixie Lodge at 647 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand on the night of Dec. 6, and found Kimber Iverson, 27, in critical condition.
Iverson had visible swelling to her face, along with several facial fractures.
Iverson was revived by responding officers, DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger said, and she was rushed to the hospital. She succumbed to her injuries three days later.
An autopsy performed Dec. 10 listed Iverson’s cause of death as blunt force trauma, Umberger said.
Parker, who made the 911 call, was arrested Dec. 6 after he gave conflicting statements to police, and an investigation revealed signs that he had attempted to tamper with the scene, according to the Police Department.
Iverson and Parker were living together at the old Dixie Lodge, which operated as an assisted living facility for people with mental illnesses before shutting down abruptly in August 2018.
According to Umberger, the former 77-bed facility reopened as a residential complex with week-by-week rental units.
“Several witnesses heard the attack, but no one contacted the police,” Umberger said.
According to Umberger, the police investigation revealed that the beating may have lasted around 30 minutes. One witness, he said, went to the grocery store to avoid hearing what was happening.
Umberger urged anyone who hears something alarming to dial 911.
“Had these individuals who heard the strange sounds contacted the police, it’s possible Ms. Iverson would be alive today,” Umberger said.
Records show that in March and April of 2018, Parker was arrested for misdemeanor domestic violence twice after fighting with Iverson. In March, Iverson refused to talk to investigators. In April, Iverson told investigators she did not want to pursue charges against Parker because it was a “mutual fight.”
She was given a pamphlet on domestic violence, and the information from the case was sent to the Domestic Violence Center in South Daytona, according to the charging affidavit.
The cases were both dropped.
Of the four witnesses interviewed by the police Dec. 6, three told investigators that the couple continuously argued and that the arguments often turned physical, according to the charging affidavit.
The couple has one child together, who was not present during the Dec. 6 incident, and who is currently in the custody of a family member, Umberger said.
At a press conference Dec. 10, Umberger spoke directly to people who may be in an abusive relationship.
“You are not alone. This Police Department is here for you,” Umberger said.
The DeLand Police Department employs a full-time victim advocate for that purpose, Umberger said, regardless of whether there are any criminal charges.
“Our victim advocate can help people, point people in the right direction to get resources, to get help, if they are in an abusive relationship,” the chief said.
The DeLand Police Department victim advocate can be reached at 386-626-7418.