Two women have been arrested and charged with the murder of Mary Elizabeth Isbell, also known as Beth Wright. They are accused of kidnapping her and pushing her off a cliff in a national park. Loretta Carr, 45, was apprehended in DeKalb County, Alabama, while the second suspect, Jessie Eden Kelly, was arrested in Pennsylvania.
Isbell’s remains were found in the Little River Canyon National Preserve in Fort Payne, Alabama. Authorities had been searching for Isbell since late 2021, and her ex-husband reported her missing in December of that year.
Loretta Carr, a 45-year-old resident of Fort Payne, Alabama, was taken into custody by a tactical team in DeKalb County on Sunday. Jessie Eden Kelly, the second suspect, was arrested in Pennsylvania. Both women are facing murder charges for allegedly pushing Mary Elizabeth Isbell off a cliff according to court documents.
Fort Payne, located about 95 miles northeast of Birmingham, is home to the Little River Canyon National Preserve, where Isbell’s remains were discovered earlier this week. Isbell had not been seen by her friends or family since late 2021. Her ex-husband reported her missing on December 27. Authorities searched her home and car in DeKalb County but found no signs of Isbell.
Following a credible tip received on June 20, investigators conducted a search operation. Human remains were found at the Little River Canyon National Preserve on Wednesday, and on Friday, it was confirmed that they belonged to Isbell. She would have turned 39 on the same day. Meanwhile, Kelly is being held in Pennsylvania, awaiting felony charges in Missouri, and now faces a detainer for the Alabama charges.
Carr’s defense attorney has filed documents claiming that prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to keep her in custody, as reported by AL.com. However, law enforcement authorities remain confident in their case. DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden expressed gratitude to law enforcement agencies in multiple states for their assistance in solving this cold case. He also requested privacy for Isbell’s family during this difficult time.