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Oxford Eagle, Sunday, February 4, 2001

Murder victim laid to rest

Grief-stricken family search for closure

By LORETTA WINSTON
Eagle Staff Reporter

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Melissa Hammond, the 25-year-old single mother who was found murdered earlier this week, was laid to rest yesterday at Oxford Cemetery. Many of her co-workers, friends and family attended the ceremony to pay their respects to the single mother.

"I just can't get over this," co-worker Dana Tonninger said. "It was bad enough with that guy going around, breaking into people's homes in broad daylight. But for this type of vicious murder to occur, I just can't accept it."

The deceased's father, aunt and uncle kept a close watch on seven-year-old Liddie Hammond during the ceremony. The little girl, who spent the night in bed next to her dead mother, cried but was fairly composed given the difficult circumstances she faced.

"It's just horrible that anyone should have to face something like this," Jonah Dale, father of the deceased, said. "It's hard enough on me and our family, but it's just not right for a little girl to have to go through this. I wish whoever did this could look at that beautiful little girl and realize what they've done."

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department detectives are investigating the murder. The department issued a statement saying that the investigation was underway, but that there were no details to release at this time.

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