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Victim identified; Franklin County investigators search for answers in body discovery

PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. - Authorities in Franklin County are working a death investigation. Sunday evening, a lady's body was discovered along a busy Phil Campbell highway.

April Welch Hamm (Facebook)

April Welch Hamm (Facebook)

Phil Campbell Police Chief Merrell Potter used daylight Monday morning to return to the scene of the tragic discovery. 39-year-old April Welch Hamm was found lying in a ditch on Alabama Highway 237 near Woodard road.

“To begin with, we thought it could be a traffic fatality where maybe she had gotten hit by a car or something,” Potter explained. “After investigating her, we found out that was not the case.”

Chief Potter said investigators determined Hamm had trauma to the head and face.

Close by, Potter said they found her purse and two cell phones. He doesn’t believe robbery would have been a motive in her death. Investigators believe an autopsy will shed more light on how Hamm may have died.

There is another lingering question to be answered by investigators, whether she died where she was found or somewhere else and dumped on the side of the road.

“It’s extremely sad, but it’s the kind of world we live in today,” stated Potter. “Human life, human bodies they have no meaning any more to people.”

Chief Potter said Hamm grew-up in Phil Campbell and had recently moved back to the area.

Investigators said April Welch Hamm was last seen late Saturday night into early Sunday morning.

Authorities have questioned someone in this case, but no charges have been filed just yet.