Millie Parke had a plan.
She had written down what she wanted to say to the State Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee. Parke had been thinking about what she’d say for a long time.
But when Parke heard her name called to testify about Senate Bill 161, she got nervous.
“I couldn’t look down to read it,“ explained Parke.
The committee patiently listened as Parke composed herself, “I had a protection order already in place which was not protecting me.”
After multiple calls to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department about her abusive ex-boyfriend Ronny McClure showing up at her work, her daughter’s house, at restaurants she was at; Parke decided it was time to run.
On May 8, 2021, she packed a bag, grabbed her two dogs and started driving east. All she wanted was a hotel room where she could hide out for a few days.
What she didn’t know that night was that McClure had planted a GPS device in her car. He knew exactly where Parke was and tracked her down to a gas station in Greenfield.
After ramming his car into Parke’s, McClure got out of his vehicle. He ran up to the driver’s side window of Parke’s car and began punching and stabbing her. One of the stab wounds pierced her heart.
Recalling it all while standing before the committee, Parke said, “The horror in that moment, you cannot even imagine. I walked out of that in a miracle. God, God protected me.”
“She’s a good example of how horribly things can go and really the impetus of why we need to take this seriously,” said State Senator Michael Crider, sponsor of SB 161.
The bill would create a new misdemeanor crime, “Remote Criminal Tracking.” Anyone convicted of using a GPS or other monitoring device to track someone without their knowledge or consent would face up to a year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
There are exemptions in the legislation for law enforcement, parents tracking minor children, devices placed on personal property and for people who are incarcerated or tracked as a condition of their release.
At the committee hearing on the bill, an amendment was offered to exempt private investigators as well.
The offer was not well received.
“No. I’m sorry. I have respect for the profession of private investigators, but the profession predates these kinds of unbelievably invasive devices,” said State Senator Liz Brown of Fort Wayne.
The private eye amendment was defeated. Another amendment to exempt auto manufacturers was accepted.
Soon after, SB 161 was voted on by the full committee. The vote was unanimous 8-0 in favor. Chairman Aaron Freeman said he would still like amendments to the legislation before he releases it to the full Senate for a vote.
But for today, the measure to outlaw GPS stalking in Indiana moved a step closer to reality and Millie Parke is thrilled, “I’m just so happy about that. My optimism now is through the roof!”