March 5, 2023

Candice Parchment // 153 // Candice's Diary

Candice Parchment // 153 // Candice's Diary

15-year-old Candice Parchment went missing in April of 2010.  Police found her remains beneath a mattress in a wooded and secluded area in November of 2010.  They finally got a break in the case when they read Candice's own diary where she described a previous attack by two other teenagers, Marshae Hickman and Jermaine Robinson.

Who was Candice Parchment and how did she die? | The US Sun ( 

Candice Parchment Murder: Where are Marshae Hickman & Jermaine Robinson Now? Update ( 

Man found guilty of murdering teenage girl – WSB-TV Channel 2 - Atlanta ( 

Five most chilling Candice Parchment murder details revealed in documentary from dark diary entry to violent attack | The Sun 

Hickman v. Georgia :: 2016 :: Supreme Court of Georgia Decisions :: Georgia Case Law :: Georgia Law :: US Law :: Justia 

Watched: How I Caught My Killer Season 1 Ep 2 I found Candice’s Diary on Hulu 


15-year-old Candice Parchment went missing from her home in Clayton County, Georgia, in April of 2010.  She was an aspiring writer attending Forest Park High School.  She had bright eyes and a big smile, she was clever, popular, and had a very promising future.  Candice and her mother had emigrated from Jamaica in hopes of a better life.   On April 28th, 2010, Candice suddenly left home and this was not like her.  Her mother woke up that morning and realized she wasn’t there.  She didn’t know why she left, but she wanted her home.  She called her multiple times over a period of six hours and reported her missing during this time. 


A friend, My’lik Hamlett, said the last time he saw Candice, she had a bag of hot Cheetos, and she was throwing them in his mouth at school and everything was happy. After she went missing, My’lik said that the police officers told Candice’s family that girls like this always run away. In the show, My’lik says, girls like what? I’d love to know what that means. He told the police they can feel free to contact him and let him know what they meant by that comment. 


Family and friends felt that the police weren’t as concerned about the disappearance as they were, but they did get a sliver of hope at the beginning. On the day of Candice’s disappearance, her mom did receive a text message from Candice’s phone, and it said, I’m in Tennessee. The next day, she got another text that said, I’m OK. Her mom didn’t believe that her daughter sent these messages and she continued to search for her. She said that not only did the messages not sound like things her daughter would say, but it didn’t make sense. If she ran away, what on earth would she go to Tennesse for? Also, why would she leave without taking any clothes or other belongings?  Her friends and family were trying to contact her and were posting on Facebook, begging her to call them so they would know she was alright, but they didn’t get any response.   


Over a month after the text messages were received, the police got a subpoena for her phone records.  Seven months had passed and on November 24th of 2010, a call came in to 911. A body was discovered just a few hundred miles from Candice’s house. Two scavengers found bones under a mattress. Police found Candice’s remains beneath a mattress in a secluded, wooded area.  The mattress was behind a dumpster, in a nearby apartment complex. While they were waiting for DNA results, the police showed some of the clothing that was found near the body to Candace’s mother. 


The clothing was distinctive. The jacket had a snakeskin design and the T-shirt said Stay Fresh and there was a little tomato and carrot on it. Detectives went through Facebook and found a photo of Candice wearing the snakeskin jacket. Detective Ashley Melvin said, “We showed her the t-shirt and jacket. Both times she recognized the clothes. She said that’s Candice’s shirt and that’s Candice’s jacket. I know because I bought it.”  The autopsy revealed that she had been stabbed and strangled to death. Once the DNA results came back, the police headed to Candice’s home to break the news to her mother, she asked, “Did you find my baby?” 


Detective Ashley Melvin said it was tough to hear her say those words and that’s when he made a promise to her that he would find out what happened to her daughter and who did it. The medical examiner ruled the death as stab wound to the chest and the matter of death was homicide. Detective Ashley Melvin was working on his first homicide case. Investigators turned to all of Candice’s school friends, but no one knew anything. They eventually started looking into the possibility that she had been murdered by a serial killer. 


17-year-old Monica Ambriz (am-breeze) disappeared on October 16th, 2010, just outside of Atlanta. Her body was found in an abandoned building and investigators noticed some similarities between Monica and Candice. They were both young girls, in the same area, and had been stabbed in the chest.  The girls were approximately two miles away from each other and Artemio (Ar-tee-mio) Hernandez was Monica’s killer, so investigators believed that he could have targeted Candice first and that would mean they had a serial killer situation. 


Investigators input a request to speak with Artemio Hernandez who was in jail. Artemio said he had never seen her before, and he didn’t do it. He had owned up to all the other things that he did, so investigators did believe him when he said he wasn’t involved.  Another suspect in the case was Trey Jenkins.  He brought a 17-year-old and 18-year-old girl to his house and raped them, and it was determined that Candice knew this guy.  However, he was not in the area when she went missing.  I guess his alibi checked out.   


It took two years for the police to get a break in the case. Candice’s mother was getting ready to move and she found her diary. She skimmed through some of the pages and realized her daughter’s own writing could lead to her killer. She called the investigators, and she was frantic. Candice had described in detail an attack by two other teenagers, Marshae Hickman and Jermaine Robinson, that had taken place a few months prior to her disappearance. 


The entry in her diary was dated January 5th, 2010, and it was titled A Frightening Experience. “I snuck out of the house to go meet with two friends; both were guys. I went walking down the road. It was dark. There’s an abandoned house where one of my schoolmates used to live. Jermaine and Marshae set me up to go to the house. So, at that moment I wasn’t thinking. In the house, it was dark. The only light I had was my phone light. Jermaine hit me with a rake in the head. At first, I thought it was an accident. It wasn’t. Marshae was blocking the door so I couldn’t get out. I tried to make up excuses, but they didn’t care. Jermaine grabbed me and choked me. I was struggling for air. Please let me go, I said. I tried to get away. My pants unzipped. Really, I was scared. The boys, you know who, tried to take my phone. I put up a fight, they couldn’t get it. A few minutes later, we seen a car light in front of the abandoned house. I was so excited yet scared. They let me go. They panicked and begged me not to tell. Well, diary, this night has scared me to death.” 


So, after Candice was hit in the head with the rake, Jermaine choked her while Marshae groped her, and they tried to hold her down on a mattress.  While the attack was taking place, her mother showed up at the abandoned house, that was the car light they saw and that’s what scared them off.  Candice did tell her mom that someone tried to rape her as she jumped into the car, but she refused to go to the police or say the names of her attackers because Marshae threated to murder her before he ran off. 


Candice did tell a close friend, Danny Jackson, about the attack.  Danny approached Jermaine Robinson and warned him to stay away from Candice.  Jermaine went back to Marshae and was like, look, she’s running her mouth and telling people about the attempted rape.  


After reading the diary, investigators needed to figure out who Marshae and Jermaine were, so they went back to Candice’s good friend, My’lik. He knew one of them and said that Marshae was really into producing music and My’lik liked to sing and rap, so the two of them just clicked. Investigators decided to look up the name Marshae in the prison system and they found him, Marshae Hickman.  He was being held at the Clayton County Jail. He had been locked up for burglary for several months, but he was free during the time Candice disappeared.  He lived in Forest Park in the apartment complex that her body had been discovered at, attended the same school as Candice and they had some friends in common.  


Marshae was questioned about the last time he saw Candice and he said that he was out playing basketball in the area where she was last seen alive. She was walking home and there was a guy following her. It was dark out, but he could see that this person was a Hispanic male, and he was creepy looking. He saw Candice go into the woods and the man followed behind her, but Marshae didn’t hear or see anything else. His description LOOSELY matched Artemio (Ar-tee-mio) Hernandez, the man that was already locked up for murdering another teen in the area, Monica Ambriz. 


Detective Ashley Melvin asked Marshae, alright, so you see Candice walking into the woods and a creepy man is following her. Why didn’t you walk her home? Why didn’t you intervene? Go check things out? He says, well, Candice said she was fine. She had pepper spray. 


Marshae ended up moving to the top of the suspect list after the interview. He knew Candice, he lived in the area, he put himself less than a few feet from where her body was found, and Candice wrote about the attempted sexual assault. Investigators knew that they needed to find the second guy that she wrote about in that diary. They needed to get Jermaine to come in for an interview at the same time as Marshae.   


They brought Jermaine in and told him that Marshae was in the room next door. Jermaine says, man, Marshae killed that girl. The detective says, how do you know? He responds with, because Marshae is crazy. Jermaine said that the information in Candice’s diary was true, but he put all the blame on Marshae. Jermaine said that Marshae started getting paranoid about Candice telling on them, so he said they should kill her.    


Investigators went back to Marshae and told him that they found Candice’s body and there was DNA. Hey, remember that time you were locked up and they took your DNA? Marshae believed that they found his DNA on her body, but results hadn’t even come back yet at this point. He said Candice was walking home and he was the one that followed her through the woods. He put his arm around her neck and lifted her off the ground as he was strangling her.  He even used a doll to show how he had strangled her.  Once Candice went limp, he covered her body with a mattress. He said he was the only person that murdered her, and he went back to that spot several times to check and make sure no one had discovered her body. The detective asked him if he wanted to be perceived as a monster or if he wanted people to realize that he was remorseful? He asked him to write a letter to Candice’s mom. I have a few lines from it. 


The letter starts with, Dear Mrs. Parchment,  

I am sorry for what I have done. I ask you for forgiveness. Keep me in your prayers too. I feel so bad for this tragic accident. I was in the wrong state of mind. This event haunts me every day. I am a good person at heart, I truly mean how sorry I am. I know you miss her, and I wish I could give her back to you. Please forgive me. I’m glad this is off my chest.   

At the end of the letter, he draws a heart and inside it says, Candice forever missed. Then he attempts to put the dates such as birth to death, but he didn’t know what year she was born so it says question mark to 2010. 


ME ME ME, that’s all the letter sounds like. 

On July 11th of 2012, Marshae Hickman was indicted for the murder of Candice Parchment.  The affidavit charging Marshae Hickman with murder said, “When Hickman, Robinson, and the victim entered the abandoned house, Hickman told Robinson to hit the victim in the head with a rake and choke her, while Hickman blocked the door to prevent her escape.”  This is the event that Candice had written about in her diary. 


Jermaine Robinson testified against Marshae saying that he told him to choke Candice, or he would kill them both. In exchange for Jermaine’s testimony, he received a 10-year sentence. 


The defense tried to say that Marshae Hickman was innocent and asked the jury to really consider his role in the crime stating, “Robinson knew more about the crime and is likely the killer.” Defense attorney Ashley Palmer said the detectives coerced Marshae into confessing by handfeeding him details of the crime and then interrogating him over two days for nearly eight hours. She said that Marshae’s psychological make-up made him prone to admitting things he didn’t do. Assistant District Attorney Mike Thurston said they interrogation video didn’t show any signs of coercion and if Marshae didn’t want to confess, he didn’t have to. Mike said to the jury, “All he’s gotta do is simple. Don’t want to talk anymore? I’m done talking.” 


During closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Mike Thurston told the jury that the words Candice wrote in her diary were the key to the case. He said, “Y’all take a look at this when you get back and remind yourself of what this case is about.”  


Marshae read a letter during his trial where he said, “I am sorry for what I have done. I was in the wrong frame of mind, and it still bothers me. I wish I could resurrect her.”   


He pleaded guilty to the murder of Candice Parchment and in 2013, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 20 years. He received a conviction of an additional 50 years in prison for attacking Candice and trying to kill her in January of 2010. The jury found him guilty of twelve charges: malice murder, felony murder, false imprisonment, criminal attempted rape, involuntary manslaughter, four counts of aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and concealing a death. 


Assistant District Attorney BJ Dixon said, “In a lot of ways she reminded me of my daughter. Not the sort of person who would hurt anyone.”  

Candice’s mother said, “I’m glad about the verdict.  At least the jury saw him for what he was.” 

Detective Ashley Melvin was able to keep his promise and he got to tell Candice’s mom who the killer was. 


Who was Candice Parchment and how did she die? | The US Sun ( 

Candice Parchment Murder: Where are Marshae Hickman & Jermaine Robinson Now? Update ( 

Man found guilty of murdering teenage girl – WSB-TV Channel 2 - Atlanta ( 

Five most chilling Candice Parchment murder details revealed in documentary from dark diary entry to violent attack | The Sun 

Hickman v. Georgia :: 2016 :: Supreme Court of Georgia Decisions :: Georgia Case Law :: Georgia Law :: US Law :: Justia 

Watched: How I Caught My Killer Season 1 Ep 2 I found Candice’s Diary on Hulu