Evidence found in 1998 disappearance of Traci Pittman Kegley
Traci Pittman Kegley (ALEA)
Authorities say a new search has turned up potential evidence in the case of an Alabama woman who disappeared two decades ago.
News outlets reported Thursday that Elmore County District Attorney Randall Houston says searchers found the potential evidence connected to the disappearance of Traci Pittman Kegley in a pond within a 300-acre search area. The material will be sent for forensic review.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Capt. Joe Herman says authorities have developed suspects.
Kegley was 30 years old when she was reported missing in April 1998. Her car was found abandoned with her 2-year-old daughter inside and unharmed, around 20 miles from this week’s search area.
A 2016 tip led to this search.
Four Troy police officers investigated for their role in an encounter that seriously injured a Troy teen will not face criminal charges.
The family of Ulysses Wilkerson, 17, has been seeking answers in what they called the "brutal beating’ of the teen. Wilkerson was hospitalized on Dec. 23, 2017 after an altercation with the police.
Authorities said Wilkerson was walking near a closed business in Troy when officers approached him. Officials with the Troy Police Department said Wilkerson reached for his waistband, and officers used physical force to subdue the teen.
The NAACP said Wilkerson "suffered multiple injuries at the hands of police officers, including massive swelling to the brain, massive facial swelling and a cracked eye socket in three places – all while possibly in handcuffs." The teen was hospitalized and underwent surgery for injuries.
Circuit 4 District Attorney Michael Jackson and retired Tuscaloosa District Attorney Tommy Smith were appointed as special prosecutors to handle the case, which was investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation. Circuit 4 includes Bibb, Hale, Dallas, Perry and Wilcox counties.
Jackson told AL.com Thursday that a grand jury met this week in Pike County and declined to issue indictments against the Troy officers.
"The grand jury determined they acted properly in their official capacity and no crime was committed,” Jackson said. "If they had found differently, we would have gone forward with the case."
The Dec. 23 incident happened about 11:50 p.m. that Saturday night. Police said when they tried to engage Wilkerson, he fled on foot. Officials with the Troy Police Department allege Wilkerson reached for his waistband in a manner consistent with intent to reach for a weapon. Officers then employed physical force to subdue Wilkerson, according to reports.
Wilkerson was then arrested and charged with obstructing governmental operations and resisting arrest. He was transported to University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham to be treated for injuries sustained in the encounter.
Images of Wilkerson’s face – battered and swollen – made rounds throughout social media during the Christmas holiday weekend. The Alabama NAACP has announced their support for Wilkerson.
Efforts to reach the Troy chief for comment weren’t immediately successful. Efforts to reach Wilkerson’s mother, Angela Williams, also were not immediately successful, but she posted this on Facebook earlier Thursday:
"I decided to stay on Facebook because this case have me down at time but to wake up and see all the support on Facebook make me want to fight harder. So just like I said I will post #J4FD everyday till we get Justice. I got this cause I have God on my side and he really know what happen that night and the proof in the picture…Police brutality at its best and for my son to live is a purpose and I will make sure this will not happen to another child. Please keep us in y’all prayers."
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.