Remains found; missing person case resolved

Cortez A. Hamilton

DOVER — Skeletal remains were located in Smyrna last week on the same day authorities resolved a three-year-old missing person case.

But, authorities on Tuesday would not confirm a connection.

On Friday, the Delaware Department of Justice confirmed that Cortez Hamilton, 35, of Smyrna, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder regarding the presumed death of his wife three years ago.

His wife, Keisha, has not been seen since around Jan. 9, 2015.

Delaware State Police said a death investigation began last Friday at approximately 1:30 p.m. after detectives discovered human skeletal remains at Mount Friendship Road, north of Brenford Road.

Authorities did not indicate how they became aware of the situation.

The remains were transferred to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science to determine the identification and cause of death.

On Monday, DSP spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said the skeletal discovery “remains under investigation and further information will be released when it becomes available.

“The remains have not yet been identified by the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.”

Attempts to reach Hamilton case prosecutor Deputy Attorney General Stephen W. Welch for comment were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Hamilton’s defense attorney John R. Garey declined comment until after sentencing on March 28.

Hamilton was initially charged with first-degree murder, which was dropped to a lesser included second-degree count that will bring 15 years to life in prison when sentenced by Superior Court Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr.

Hamilton was located in Indiana with his unharmed two children, ages four years and four months old the day after an Amber Alert was issued. He was extradited to Delaware on Jan. 22, 2015, and indicted on April 6, 2015.

A vehicle search by Indiana State Police via a warrant allegedly brought the seizure of a bloody hammer, bloody clothing belonging to Mrs. Hamilton, along with clothing and shoes from Mr. Hamilton that were partially covered in mud and stained blood, according to a court opinion allowing the items to be entered as evidence.

Mrs. Hamilton’s wedding ring, a lock of her hair, her purse, and a cell phone were also found, according to police investigation.

Other indicted charges not further prosecuted included possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

A court docket indicated Hamilton is being held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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