Search for missing mother Jessica Hamby intensifies with subpoenas for cellphone tech data
HAMILTON, AL (WBMA) - New search warrants may provide a break in the case of a missing woman. Jessica Hamby vanished in Marion County nearly a year ago. The I-Team spoke with those leading efforts to find her retracing Hamby's last known steps.
Jessica's young children think someday their mother will come home. Their grandfather struggles with what to tell them. "I haven't slept in eleven months more than an hour. I go to sleep thinking of Jessie. I wake up thinking of my daughter. It's hell," says Jessica's father, Keith Hamby.
Jessica struggled with drug addiction, but her father says she was working to get better. "People hear addiction and drugs, that turns them off but she's still a person," remarks Hamby.
Keith Hamby and Private Investigator Jeff Means of Sound Mind Investigations drove us through Jessica's last known stops beginning with her leaving a rehab facility in Haleyville on January 2. From there she caught a ride down toward Hamilton. She was dropped off at a construction area near a bridge on Highway 43. From there an acquaintance named Alicia Motes took Jessica to a trailer on Elgin Cochran Road.
The residence is owned by Raymond Edwards. He told us he arrived home that night around 11pm with his wife and left the next morning at 8am for work. He said he never saw Jessica in his trailer. He has allowed law enforcement to search his property.
Private Investigator Means says Jessica was last known to be at that trailer with Alicia Motes, her brother Derek and Eric Edwards who is a relative of Raymond Edwards. The next morning, January 3rd, Jessica wrote on facebook messenger: "Hey they ain't going to shoot me for walking." Her phone records then indicate she called Edwards' phone. He is now in prison on drug charges.
ABC3340 News attempted to contact Alicia Motes several times over the past week. She initially said she would speak with us, but did not follow up until thirty minutes before airtime for our 6pm newscast. She disputes that she was not truthful with investigators. We extended an offer to speak with her on camera for a statement and have not heard back.
According to Jessica's dad those last known with his daughter have told several different stories. In one account, Jessica reportedly said she wanted to watch the sunrise and walked out of the mobile home around 7am. It was six degrees outside that day according to Keith Hamby. Jessica was not wearing winter clothes and did not have her cellphone with her.
"There's no evidence she left, no evidence she was picked up by someone, no evidence she walked away," explains Hamby. Cellphone data from the area has been analyzed and there is more expected to be available soon.
Searches of the property and nearby wells have come up empty. Cadaver dogs were also brought in. The digital trail of Jessica's phone may hold more clues including locations from running apps, WIFI pings and use of data service. Ten search warrants went out last week from the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
Keith Hamby is very appreciative of the efforts of the A.B.I. and the Marion County Sheriff's Office. "These guys are pit bulls; they're not gonna stop," remarks Hamby.
A.B.I. confirms that the stories from those last known with Jessica are not consistent. Lie detector tests indicate "deception."
"We're hoping someone actually has a conscience and will end this for this family," pleads Means.
When asked whether he would ever give up the search for his daughter Hamby responded: "Hell no. Never. Karma has a way of coming around."
There is a five thousand dollar reward in the case.
If you have any information about this case please contact:
Marion Co. Sheriff's office (205)-921-2101 or (205)- 921-7433
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (334)-353-2250
Jeff Means Sound Mind Investigations (256)-508-0047