Jessie Eden Kelly, 22, was booked into the Cherokee County Jail on July 22. Her mother, Loretta Kay Carr, has been in the DeKalb County Jail since June 25. Kelly had been jailed in Pennsylvania and was awaiting extradition to Missouri, where she had prior felony burglary charges.
Both women are charged with capital murder and kidnapping in connection to the death of Mary Elizabeth Isbell on October 18, 2021, court records show. According to the criminal complaints filed in each case, both Carr and Kelly “intentionally” caused Isbell’s death “by pushing her off of a cliff.”
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office’s (DCSO) Chief Investigator Nick Brown described what the women did to Isbell as “inhuman and brutal.”
While it is unclear whether Carr or Kelly cooperated with authorities, the DCSO did say that one of them helped lead authorities to Isbell’s remains, where a search team found them at the Little River Canyon National Park on June 28.
The Alabama Department of Forensic Science’s Huntsville Laboratory later confirmed the remains as Isbell’s – on what would have been her 39th birthday.
Investigators also said they found physical evidence at Isbell’s home, leading to the arrests of Carr and Kelly. According to court documents, the mother and daughter are both accused of kidnapping and killing Mary Isbell.
In early July, a judge granted a motion for a gag order that prevents witnesses, law enforcement, court employees, prosecutors and basically anyone involved in the case from sharing any details with media and a motion denying cameras during the proceedings.
Carr’s defense team also wants to use the body cam footage from officers involving a search of her home, footage from their interactions with her daughter, and footage including Carr’s fiancee.
The state is seeking the death penalty against Carr.
While no hearings for Kelly were scheduled at the time this article was published, Carr is still set for a hearing on Wednesday, August 2.