Parnel now charged with first degree murder

Patrick Parnel, the man accused of killing his newborn daughter in Ocean Shores earlier this month, was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday.

Parnel, 22, was initially charged with first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault, and charges were updated to second-degree murder April 10. With the newest charges, Parnel’s bail has been set at $500,000.

“When we filed the charges initially, the investigation hadn’t finished,” said Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jerry Fuller. “And now that we have more information, we’ve updated the charges.”

The infant’s body was found April 5 in a vacant lot near the Ocean Shores Airport. Parnel initially told police that the baby appeared dead after he dropped her in the toilet of an Ocean Shores motel where Brittany Taylor, 21, gave birth. In a follow-up interview, Parnel allegedly told police that the newborn was alive when he brought her to the woods, and that he struck her with an object from his car when she began to cry.

Taylor is still charged with first-degree abandonment of a dependant person and her bail remains at $250,000. The Humptulips couple will be arraigned May 6 — Taylor at 8:30 a.m. and Parnel at 1:30 p.m.

Both Parnel and Taylor made appearances in Grays Harbor Superior Court Wednesday.