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Police: Blood-stained clothing, cell phone records tie victim to suspects
Cellular phone records and blood-stained blue jeans link two men to a murder victim whose body was dumped in Renziehausen Park in September.
Allegheny County police on Monday charged Ramonta “Mo” Yancey, 26, of Pittsburgh and Daron D. Parks, 26, of Bridgeville with criminal homicide, robbery of a motor vehicle, tampering with physical evidence, abuse of a corpse and criminal conspiracy in connection with the death of Tameka Dallas, 43, of Monroeville.
Yancey and Parks are being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail pending a preliminary hearing Feb. 28 before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kim Berkeley Clark.
Police accused Yancey and Parks of strangling Dallas on the night of Sept. 11, stealing her car and dumping her body along a walking trail not far from Penn State Greater Allegheny.
Her body was discovered on the morning of Sept. 12 by someone who was walking his dog and called McKeesport police.
Dallas had worked as a nurse’s aide until 2008 and had also lived in Glassport and on Pittsburgh’s North Side. Police have not said publicly how Yancey and Parks knew Dallas.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Pittsburgh Municipal Court, on the night before Dallas’ body was found, phone records show that Yancey called Dallas twice, and Dallas called Yancey five times.
Police said that Dallas was last seen alive just after 10:30 p.m. Sept. 11, leaving her mother’s apartment complex in Pitcairn. Surveillance video captured her 2007 Chevrolet Impala turning onto Broadway Avenue and heading toward Turtle Creek.
The complaint alleges that Yancey and Parks texted each other that they would be meeting that night in Harrison Village in McKeesport, and that Dallas’ cell phone was tracked to the same location as Yancey’s cell phone just before it was turned off, at about 10:55 p.m.
Less than 20 minutes later, police allege in the complaint, Dallas’ Chevrolet was observed on video entering Renzie Park. Four minutes later, the car was spotted leaving the park, police said.
Police used license-plate reading cameras to track Dallas’ car to Walmart stores in Bridgeville, Heidelberg and North Versailles Twp. on Sept 12.
At the North Versailles Twp. Walmart, police allege that Yancey attempted to dispose of a cell phone in a recycling machine.
The transaction was not completed, police said, but Dallas’ cell phone has not been found.
The complaint states that a confidential informant in Washington, Pa., told police that Yancey met them in a convenience store parking lot on Sept. 12 and offered to rent the informant a silver Chevrolet Impala — Dallas’ car — for $100 per day.
Parks, Yancey and another man were spotted later that day in the parking lot of yet another Walmart, near Route 19 in South Strabane Twp., police said. Parks and the third man were arrested at the scene by South Strabane police, but Yancey eluded officers. He was arrested Sept. 17 and charged by Allegheny County police with receiving stolen property in connection with the use of Dallas’ car.
Parks was held in the Washington County Jail while awaiting trial on charges of receiving stolen property and making false reports to police.
According to the criminal complaint, on Oct. 17, while in jail, Parks called a friend with a Bridgeville phone number and told them that he had left clothes at the friend’s home, spelling out the word “clothes” using phonetics.
Police intercepted the call and obtained a search warrant for that home, the complaint states.
Inside, they found a shirt and pair of jeans that were stained with Dallas’ blood, according to the complaint. The shirt and jeans match clothes that Parks was seen wearing in surveillance video, police allege.
Jason Togyer is editor of The Tube City Almanac and volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc.
Originally published February 19, 2020.