Suspect arrested in death of Franklin Co. woman - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Suspect arrested in death of Franklin Co. woman

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Kayla Qualls Kayla Qualls
ESTILL SPRINGS, TN (WSMV) -

A second arrest could come soon in the murder of a young Tullahoma mother who was found in the back of a vehicle in rural Franklin County Monday morning.

Michael L. Curtis is accused of killing Kayla D. Qualls, 23. Curtis is the grandfather of Qualls' two children, and now the father of her children is considered a "person of interest."

Qualls was found in the back of a Ford Explorer in the Spring Creek Road area shortly after 11 a.m. Monday.

Police said Qualls died from blunt force trauma to the head, and her body was found covered with a coat.

Qualls' parents spoke Thursday about their middle child, who they remember fondly.

"She was a real cheerful, full of life little girl," said father Paul Qualls.

Paul and Kandy Qualls hope the state gives them custody of their daughter's young children.

"That's all I have left of her," Kandy Qualls said.

Law enforcement officials say evidence has been gathered and presented to the district attorney, who will decide on possible charges against the children's father.

For now, the Qualls family is planning to bury their daughter and hoping to bring the children home soon.

"They're doing great. Of course, they want to come home to Nana and Papa, but soon enough," Kandy Qualls said.

A motive in the murder has not been released, but Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller said Qualls and the children's father have had custody issues in the past.

Curtis was jailed on $1 million bond, and a hearing is set for Dec. 3.

The sheriff offices in Franklin and Coffee counties, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Tullahoma police investigated.

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