Questions surround Laurel County man's death

Concern..and worry gripped the staff of Johnson Elementary last Thursday when Bill Sparkman didn't show up for his after school work assignment.

“He was always where he was supposed to be, when he was supposed to be. He didn't call..he didn't show up,” said Johnson Ele. Family Resource Center Director Gilbert Acciardo.

The 51-year-old Sparkman had recently beaten the odds in an often fatal form of cancer. That was while he spent two years earning a teaching degree while holding down two jobs. And school staff say he was always dependable. Then on Sunday..his body was found more than 30 miles away..in a rural part of Clay County.

“We have the same questions everybody else does..what happened to Mr. Sparkman? Because we know what police have told us,” said Acciardo.

Police are not saying how Sparkman died or even what kind of injuries he had, and they say at this point they are not ruling anything out.

Police aren't saying whether the investigation is leaning towards an accidental death..or a homicide.

Besides his job in education...friends say Sparkman also worked for the US Census Bureau..which could explain why he was in such a rural part of Clay County. But police say his family doesn't know for sure.

Police say the exact cause of death is pending autopsy results.


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  • by Carlton Location: Texas on Sep 24, 2009 at 08:41 PM
    First and most importantly, condolences to Mr. Sparkman's family, friends and students. That said, I need to make a few more comments. It's posts like Mary's and Seth's that sometimes make me embarrassed to be democrat. Turning such a sad story into a grandstand for your closed-minded political views is shameful (we're supposed to be the tolerant ones, right?) And blaming the likes of Limbaugh and Beck for a MURDER makes all dems sound like total nutjobs. We spent decades trying to make sure that ANYONE had the right to say just about anything in this country and now that there are a few popular people who's opinions differ from ours, you accuse them of murder? Please. Besides, you'd better wait to see what the police find before you go off on the "right wing nuts". Maybe the poor guy accidentally found the wrong democrat's marijuana patch. Remember, this is the fault of the sicko(s) who commited the act and no one else.
  • by Mary Location: Texas on Sep 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM
    It was only a matter of time until a tragedy. Rush L, and the congresswoman from Minn, are to blamb, but we probably wont hear about it after today. The right wing nuts are dangerous, This looks like 3 murders so far.
  • by clyde Location: tenn. on Sep 24, 2009 at 11:06 AM
    I am disappointed that so many Americans are taking the opportunity to use this tragic event to stir up hate. No body here knows anything about why he was murdered!!! But they want to stir up issues about guns, republicans, democrats, liberals, conservatives, stupid southerns, Christians, etc. We should ALL SHUT UP and try to act like Americans!!! Let the police and FBI do their job, and the guilty party will be found and punished. Lets not make things in this country worse by taking every opportunity to sling mud at each other just because we have a difference of opinions. We can settle those at election time. Please think before you open your mouths about what kind of an idiot you are making yourself look like!!! And yes I am a gun toting, bible thumping, very conservative male who votes for the man and not the party and NO, I did not vote for Obama. But I will live with Him in peace and hope for the best for the country. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND THE U.S.A.
  • by Seth Location: Texas on Sep 23, 2009 at 08:48 PM
    You can thank Glen Beck and the right wing Republicans for this man's death. It's the logical consequence of the Tea Party movement which tells us this President isn't American, that we now have socialist overlords. Every Republican voter is responsible for this man's death.
  • by kaye on Sep 23, 2009 at 08:14 PM
    Mexican drug cartel
  • by slhs students on Sep 18, 2009 at 07:02 AM
    As a stundent of Mr.Sparks class as he would sub, he gave me a since of "you don't have to be serious, that you can have fun while you are finshing school". Mr.Sparks will be missed by me an many more. I was the family the best for all. i know God is with you through this. Love and will miss you, A student at South laruel High School. R.I.P Mr.Sparks
  • by SLMS Student Location: London on Sep 17, 2009 at 07:51 PM
    Mr. Sparkman was a very kind man. He was not only a Johnson Elementary School worker, but he also worked as a substitute. As a substitude I had Mr. Sparkman as my Social Studies teacher a week before his death. I give my deepest thoughts and prayers toward the family. Mr. Sparkman was a good man, and I'm sure he is in a good place now.
  • by Student's mom Location: KY on Sep 16, 2009 at 05:15 PM
    Mr. Sparkman made a HUGE difference in my son's life during 5th grade at Johnson Elementary. We had just moved to KY and my son who has a learning disability was helped by a very kind and wonderful Mr. Sparkman. He will be greatly missed and I pray that justice is done and whoever is responsible for this tragedy is punished to the fullest extent of the law.
  • by nlms student Location: nlms on Sep 16, 2009 at 04:45 PM
    ALL. the kids from NLMS miss and love MR.Spakman and i just wanted to say that everyone hear will remaber him always and we were very sorry when we all got the news at school.......................WE LOVE YOU MR. SPARKMAN AND WE WILL MISS U DEARLY
  • by Jack Location: Manchester on Sep 15, 2009 at 06:04 PM
    I am so sorry for this man's family. I've heard his truck was found at a church at Goose Rock, while his body was found at a cemetery a long way from that church. It's hard to reason why someone would harm this man. Just goes to show you what kind of world we live in today.

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