(Hokes Bluff, AL - May 20, 2010) 25 year old Jeremy Wayne Grissom of Hokes Bluff is being held on $1 million bond and charges of murder and abuse of a corpse. Grissom allegedly struck his girlfriend, 28 year old Monica Michelle Payne of Fort Payne, killing her sometime Wednesday.
Hokes Bluff Police Captain Mitchell Hill says his department received a dispatch from the County 9-1-1 office at 6:56 p.m. The call was made by members of Grissom's family who dropped in on the couple at his home, located at 5588 Clinton Street in Hokes Bluff. The family discovered him attempting to prepare the body for disposal, according to Sheriff Todd Entrekin.
District Attorney Jimmie Harp says that while an autopsy is underway and a definitive answer is not yet ready, the cause of death is speculated to be blunt force trauma to the head. He says Payne was likely hit by an object and also by her boyfriend's hands. Her body is reported to have been severely beaten.
Grissom then allegedly begin preparing Payne's body for disposal. Sheriff Entrekin reports that the suspect "wrapped her body with lots of plastic and duct tape." The sheriff says the body was then packed into a duffle bag before attempting to clean the crime scene.
After Payne's murder, Grissom is alleged to have used bleach and peroxide to clean up the crime scene of blood splatters. Entrekin alleges that he then emptied his house of her belongings, packed her car and then parked that car at a nearby Hokes Bluff apartment complex. "If his family members had not come when they did, we'd be searching for her body, instead of standing here announcing an arrest," Entrekin said during the press conference.
When asked about motive, District Attorney Jimmie Harp says all indications currently are that it began as a domestic violence incident that then turned into a murder.