Search for missing Tuscaloosa woman ends in tragedy

COTTONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — A missing person’s case in Tuscaloosa County has now become a murder case.

Captain Gary Hood says after receiving a tip, the body of 30-year-old Jennette Brannon was discovered Wednesday night in a wooded area in Cottondale off Beulah Lake Lane. 58-year-old Richard Sexton was arrested and charged with murder.

“We are still trying to develop other information and follow up on other friends of Miss Brannon to determine what led to this and find out maybe what the cause was and exactly and determine if there are other witnesses that haven’t come forward yet or if there were other people involved,” Hood said.

The victim’s body was located down an embankment not far from Sexton’s house. Brannon was reported missing by her parents on December 9th.  Her family last heard from her five days earlier after she went to a party at  Sexton’s house.

“Our understanding there was a party at that residence and that was the last time anyone had seen Jennette Brannon. And there was possibly some alcohol and some drugs involved,” Hood explained.

Richard Sexton has a long criminal history including: burglary and domestic violence.

Captain Hood says investigators believe the victim had been dead since December 6th. Sexton is being held in the county jail on a $75,000 bond.  The Metro Homicide Unit would not comment about how the victim died or what her relationship was with Sexton.


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