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Hampton murder suspect in custody
KPD has held suspect without bond since last Saturday

Knoxville Police Department announced Tuesday they have in custody a suspect in the Jennifer Lee Hampton murder.

The man, whose name KPD has not released, is being held without bond until police receive test results from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Knox County medical examiner’s office.

“A suspect in the case is currently being held without bond on unrelated charges,” said KPD Public Information Officer Darrell DeBusk.

“We are currently awaiting tests to be performed on evidence that was recovered during the investigation,” he added.

DeBusk was unsure when test results would be available, saying it could be as early as this afternoon or as late as next week.

“We just don’t know at this point.”

“Charges on the death of Ms. Hampton will be forthcoming,” he added.

Hampton disappeared from the Day’s Inn off Lovell Road Friday, Sept. 19. Her body was found more than a week later in Melton Hill Lake in Solway, little more than six miles from the hotel.

Saturday, Sept. 20, KPD arrested two Day’s Inn employees on charges of falsifying documents. Both were illegal aliens with illegitimate social security cards.

Valentino Miranda and Rogelio Melchor are currently being held without bond by order of federal immigration officials.

“It’s one of those two,” DeBusk said, adding KPD had only one suspect “at this time.”

Since Hampton disappeared, DeBusk has stated police suspect foul play.

“We have evidence that shows she was a victim of a homicide,” DeBusk said.

As of press time, DeBusk would not reveal Hampton’s cause of death due to the ongoing investigation.

According to DeBusk, Hampton’s hotel room was in disarray, but he could not reveal information about evidence recovered in the room.

Hampton’s nude body was found near the Solway bridge by a local fisherman. The medical examiner positively ID’d the body Monday.

Also Monday, Hampton family attorney and spokesman Eddie Daniel asked that Knoxville citizens continue to pray for KPD.

“I know they’ll do everything in their power to get [the investigation] completed and prosecute these people to the fullest extent of the law,” Daniel said.

“We firmly feel that at some time in the future, the individual or individuals who committed this horrendous crime will be brought to justice,” he added.

The family plans to return Hampton’s body to Alabama.

SunTrust Bank has set up a fund for donations to Hampton’s family, who has stayed in Knoxville since Hampton went missing. Money can be donated at any branch.


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