Selma, AL

Selma Missing Persons Case Now a Death Investigation

A.W. Naves
Patricia EffingerPhoto byAlabama News Network

Police are now investigating the disappearance of 64-year-old Patricia Effinger as a possible homicide after the body of the missing woman was found in woods near an old well on County Road 813 in the Orrville area of Dallas County. Effinger had been missing since the night of New Year’s Eve. Her last known location was in the 800 block of First Avenue in Selma between 11 p.m. and midnight.

The body of Effinger was found on January 7, still fully clothed in the black boots, camouflage pants, white top, and leather black jacket she had been reported wearing when she went missing. There were no obvious signs of trauma, according to Sheriff Mike Granthum, but because of the nature of how the body was found and the location where it was found, the death is being investigated as suspicious.

“A lot of people knew Ms. Effinger. Her family is distraught over it. we want to find the cause of death. And find out who is responsible for it.” – Sheriff Granthum

The Selma Police Department is working on the case in tandem with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators were able to use cell phone tracking provided by the Alabama Fusion Center to locate Effinger’s body, which they have sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science for an autopsy that will hopefully reveal her cause of death.

The investigation has already led to the arrest of 55-year-old Napolean Morton, a resident of Selma. According to investigators, Morton is the last person to have seen Effinger. During a police interview, Morton admitted to being involved in the concealment of her body. He has been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. He is currently being held at the Dallas County Jail on two separate cash bonds, one for $15,000 and another for $6,000.

Sheriff Granthum indicated that the charges may be upgraded if the autopsy shows Effinger died of unnatural causes.

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