Athol man accused of killing Leominster woman ordered held without bail

FRANKLIN, MASS. (WHDH) - An Athol man accused of killing a Leominster woman whose body was found at a wastewater treatment plant last year with his DNA on her genitals has been ordered held without bail, officials announced.

Keith Hamel, 23, appeared Wednesday in Franklin Superior Court on charges including murder in connection with the death of 26-year-old Kelsey Clifford, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

Clifford’s body was found outside the entrance to the Athol Wastewater Treatment Facility during the early-morning hours of Nov. 11, 2019.

Chief Trial Counsel Jeremy Bucci alleges that Hamel killed Clifford and then robbed her of her money and cellphone.

Police reportedly recovered a sweatshirt at the scene that had Clifford’s blood on the outside and Hamel’s DNA inside the sleeve.

DNA matching Hamel was also allegedly found on the victim’s genitals.

Hamel lied to investigators about various details regarding the case, destroyed his cellphone and deleted Facebook messages with Clifford from his and her accounts, Bucci said.

Along with a murder charge, Hamel is also facing one count of armed robbery, two counts of misleading police and four counts of tampering with evidence.

His next court date is scheduled for April 10.

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