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Athol murder

No Bail for Accused Killer of Woman Found Near Wastewater Treatment Plant

Keith Hamel, of Athol, is facing charges of murder, armed robbery, misleading police and tampering with evidence

Keith Hamel arraignement 11192019

A Massachusetts man faced a judge Wednesday in the November death of a woman whose body was found near a wastewater treatment plant in Athol.

Keith Hamel, 23, of Athol, was arraigned in Franklin Superior Court on charges of murder, armed robbery, misleading police and tampering with evidence.

Hamel, who was already being held without bail in the Nov. 11 death of 26-year-old Kelsey Clifford, of Leominster, will continue to be held. He had previously pleaded not guilty to the single murder charge on Nov. 19.

He was arrested on a warrant on suspicion of killing Clifford, according to the Northwestern District Attorney's Office.

Clifford's body was found near the entrance to the facility of Athol's wastewater treatment plant on Jones Street. Her body was discovered with multiple injuries consistent with blunt force trauma, according to prosecutors.

A sweatshirt was found between the crime scene and Hamel's home with Hamel's DNA on the inside and Clifford's blood on the outside, prosecutors said. DNA matching Hamel was also allegedly found on the victim's genitals.

Prosecutors said Hamel lied to investigators about the details of the case, destroyed his cell phone and deleted Facebook messages with Clifford.

Clifford, a 2011 graduate of St. Bernard's High School in Fitchburg, leaves behind her son, her parents, grandparents and a sister, according to her obituary.

Hamel is due back in court April 10.

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