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Missing Alabama Mother Found Dead in Remote Canyon; 2 Women Charged With Capital Murder After Cops Say Victim Was Pushed Off a Cliff

missing alabama mother found dead  women charged
Source: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office; Hartselle Police Department

Loretta Kay Carr; Jessie Eden Kelly; Mary Elizabeth Isbell

Jul. 3 2023, Published 12:24 p.m. ET

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Two women have been charged with capital murder after the body of an Alabama mother who hadn’t been seen since October 2021 was found, according to authorities.

Investigators received a tip about the case on June 20 and a search team located the body of Mary Elizabeth Isbell, who also went by Beth Wright, the following day in Little River Canyon National Preserve, reported.

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On June 25, officials from DeKalb County announced Loretta Kay Carr, 45, was charged with capital murder-kidnapping after allegedly pushing Isbell off a cliff around October 2021.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Weldon announced on June 30 that another woman, Jessie Eden Kelly, had also been arrested in connection with Isbell’s death.

Kelly was charged with capital murder and in custody in Pennsylvania awaiting extradition to Missouri on felony charges. She is now expected to be extradited to Alabama on the murder charge sometime this summer, reported.

On Dec. 27, 2021, Isbell’s ex-husband reported her missing after she didn’t call to wish their son a merry Christmas, officials said.

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Police determined she had been living on Lookout Mountain in the DeKalb County area and after searching her residence and vehicle, they found physical evidence of a struggle, authorities said.

At a news conference, authorities said Kelly and Carr knew Isbell through another person and they have been suspects in her disappearance from the beginning.

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Detectives believed Isbell’s body was somewhere in the area of the 15,288-acre preserve, but they weren’t sure where it was. Officials said one of the suspects gave up the location, which allowed them to find Isbell’s body.

Investigators said they believe Isbell’s “brutal and inhumane” death took place between the evening of October 18 and the early morning of October 19, 2021.


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