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West AL man sentenced to death even though ex-wife’s body hasn’t been found

Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 6:35 AM CDT
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LAMAR COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Despite never finding Keisha Sykes body, her ex-husband Brandon Sykes has been sentenced to die by a Lamar County judge. This after a jury convicted him of capital murder in February. Keisha Sykes disappeared in February 2015 from her Vernon home. Days later, her car was found abandoned and burned in Mississippi. Authorities later found her blood in her home and in Sykes’ truck. They also found a small piece of her body tissue in the yard.

Investigators determined that Sykes forced his way into Keisha’s home and took her cell phone. District Attorney Andy Hamlin says they were able to connect the forensic dots that linked Brandon Sykes to the murder.

“A lot of that is through technology. Digital forensic evidence that we had. We figured it out through a lot of leg work. We were able to paint that picture. We coupled that digital evidence, statements that were taken during the course. This was a robust investigation,” Andy Hamlin, DA for the 24th Judicial Circuit said.

It took 7 years to get to this point. Hamlin says the search for Keisha Sykes’ body will continue.

“My sincere hope has always been that her body will be found. She has three children, and they don’t know where their mother is. She’s got a mother and father who don’t know where their daughter is,” Hamlin said.

This is the first case Hamlin has tried where they haven’t found a body. These cases can be hard to prove, but Hamlin tells me there was enough evidence that linked Brandon Sykes to her death.

During the sentencing phase in February, a jury voted 12-0 to impose the death penalty against Sykes.

Hamlin says he can’t thank his team and the legal team from the attorney general’s office enough for trying this case. He’s hoping the death penalty sentence will bring a little healing to Keisha Sykes family.

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