Man arrested in murder of Hokes Bluff woman

Monica Michelle Payne (photo source Etowah County Sheriff's Department)
Monica Michelle Payne (photo source Etowah County Sheriff's Department)

GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) - A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of a Hokes Bluff woman.

Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin, in a statement Thursday to FOX6 News, said Jeremy Wayne Grissom, 25, of Hokes Bluff, was charged with the murder of Monica Michelle Payne, 28, of Hokes Bluff.  Grissom was also charged with abuse of a corpse.

Sheriff Entrekin said Payne's severely beaten body was found Wednesday inside a residence located on Clinton Street in Hokes Bluff. He said the cause of death was speculated to be blunt force trauma to the head, but said an autopsy was currently underway to determine the exact cause of death.

"A motivation for the murder is yet to be determined," Sheriff Entrekin said in the statement. "In the early stages of the investigation, it appears to be a domestic violence incident that escalated into a homicide."

Sheriff Entrekin said Grissom wrapped Payne's body multiple times in plastic and duct tape, then placed her body inside a duffle bag, cleaned the house and moved her car to another location.

Hokes Bluff Police said they arrested Grissom Wednesday evening after one of his family members called 911.

"The event that occurred yesterday is a shock to our community," Hokes Bluff Police Chief Mitchell Hill said in the statement. "We read about these incidents and think it won't happen in our community.  It was a very sad day for us all."

Grissom was being held in the Etowah County Detention Center on $500,000 bond for each charge.

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