By Melanie Posey
HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - The last time Nadia Kersh was seen alive she was captured on videotape while leaving her job at Tria Market in Homewood. That was on November 3rd, 2008.
Police and the community conducted numerous searches only to find the 23-year-old single mother's abandoned car and purse, but there was no resolution until Monday night when police charged 27-year-old Joacquas Haywood with capital murder. They say he killed Kersh during the course of a burglary at her home.
"Mr. Haywood was a person of interest early on in this case," Homewood Police Sergeant Doug Finch said during a news conference Tuesday morning. "We zeroed in on him in the first three days and continued to build this case over the next several months."
Police describe Haywood as a past acquaintance of Kersh's, but would not say more.
Prosecutors say they have enough physical evidence and statements to make a strong case, even though they do not have Kersh's body.
"I can't say that we've prosecuted one (of these cases) in our office," said Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls. "So there will be significant challenges. And we are doing the research and have done the research. We've talked to other prosecutors around the country who've done this and we feel confident we'll be able to handle this case."
Kersh's mother, Nancy, says she got word of Haywood's arrest at her Virginia home on Monday night. "I just have to say nothing really prepares you for that kind of a phone call," Nancy Kersh said by phone.
Attorney Ezra Jordan went with Haywood when he turned himself into police Monday night. "Mr. Haywood has always maintained his innocence of any actions to cause Ms. Kersh to disappear," Jordan said. "And he continues to maintain his innocence."
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