Message From The Sheriff
NICK WELDEN  ( read )
24 Hours:
Crime Tip:
2801 Jordan Road SW
Fort Payne, AL 35968
Administrative Office:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:00pm


Remains found in Little River Canyon identified as missing woman from 2021

From the Office of DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden:

FORT PAYNE, Ala. - On December 27, 2021, Mary Elizabeth Isbell was reported missing to the Hartselle Police Department by her ex-husband.  Detectives with Hartselle PD used phone records to determine Beth was living in the DeKalb County area.  Investigators with DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office and agents with the DeKalb County Drug Unit determined the location at which Beth was living in DeKalb County.  A Search warrant was conducted at that location.

Jacksonville State University's Center for Applied Forensic processed the location and also the vehicle Beth had been driving.  Physical evidence was recovered from the home and entered into a national database; however, no match was found at that time.  Throughout the investigation, numerous leads were received and checked by law enforcement and volunteers, without any success.

On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, DeKalb County Investigators received information about the disappearance of Mary Elizabeth Isbell.  Investigators immediately checked the lead and determined it to be credible.  After search warrants were performed, and individuals were interviewed, two arrests were made in the connection with the murder of Mary Elizabeth Isbell.

Loretta Kay Carr (45 of Fort Payne) was arrested on the evening of Sunday, June 25, 2023, by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team for Capital Murder.

Loretta Kay Carr.png
Loretta Kay Carr (45 of Fort Payne)

Jessie Eden Kelly is currently in custody in Pennsylvania awaiting extradition to Missouri on felony charges.  A detainer was placed on Jessie Eden Kelly with Pennsylvania and Missouri for Capital Murder from DeKalb County Alabama.

On Wednesday, June 28, 2023, remains were found at the Little River Canyon National Park by a search team, consisting of Fischer Rescue Squad, DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, Fort Payne Police and Fire personnel, Investigators with the District Attorney's Office and law enforcement with the National Park Service.  Once remains were located, Jacksonville State University's Center for Applied Forensics were contacted to document and recover the remains.  The remains were sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science's Huntsville Laboratory for an examination and identification.

On Friday, June 30, 2023, which would have been Mary Elizabeth Isbell's 39th birthday, the remains were positively identified by the Alabama Department of Forensic Science as that of Mary Elizabeth Isbell.


DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the incident: "We would like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police Corry Barracks, Huntsville Search Dog Unit, State of Alabama Aviation Unit, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Fischer Rescue Squad and all the volunteers who helped during this investigation for all their hard work and dedication."  

"Each individual played an important role in bringing Beth home and holding those responsible for this horrific crime accountable.  We would ask that you pray for Beth's family and give them privacy as they navigate through this difficult time." 

"God Bless!" Concluded Sheriff Welden.