Police confirm victim identity

UPDATE, March 25: Delaware State Police, in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Justice, have indicted a Laurel man for murder.

Joseph Allen Beck, 32, is currently being held in Virginia, awaiting extradition to Delaware. He is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited and abuse of a corpse.

The victim's identity has been confirmed by the Delaware Division of Forensic Science as 34-year-old Tia A. Tucker, of Seaford. According to police, her murder occurred between March 6 and 8.

Beck was arrested around 3:40 a.m. on March 13 in Falmouth, Virginia. He was pulled over for a traffic violation.

According to the Stafford County Sheriff's Office, the deputy asked Beck if he knew where he was and he said, "Delaware."

He was charged with DUI and committed to Rappahannock Regional Jail on secured bond. 

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UPDATE, March 24: The body found on South Shell Bridge Road in Laurel on March 9 has been identified as 34-year-old Tia Tucker, of Seaford.

Family and friends identified Tucker as the victim to The News Journal. Police continue to say that the victim has not been officially identified. 

Police also would not confirm that the victim's body was mutilated.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System posted information from the Delaware Division of Forensic Science shortly after Tucker's body was found. The federal database sought to identify the body of a woman matching Tucker's description and described it as missing "one or more" limbs and hands.

Shortly after The News Journal reported on the NamUs post, it was no longer available on the website.

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UPDATE, March 21: Delaware State Police detectives were in the area of Phillips Landing Road on Thursday, March 21, as part of the investigation into a murdered female found along the side of South Shell Bridge Road in Laurel on March 9. 

Shell Bridge Road and Phillips Landing Road, as well as the intersection of Mt. Pleasant Road and Old Sharptown Road, were closed for around four hours while detectives worked.

Police are still working with the Delaware Division of Forensic Science to determine the victim’s "official" identity.

There is no immediate concern for the public’s safety at this time, police say.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Detective J. King at 302-741-2821. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.

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UPDATE, March 14: According to Delaware State Police, the death of a female victim found along the side of a Laurel Road last week has been ruled a homicide.

The Delaware Division of Forensic Science has determined the cause and manner of death to be a gunshot wound to the upper torso. 

According to Master Corporal Melissa Jaffe, there have been no other reports of suspicious activity in the area the body was found, on South Shell Bridge Road, near Broad Creek Estates. Extra police patrols have been added in that area.

"Contrary to the social media reports of [there] supposedly being multiple bodies found, the Delaware State Police are currently conducting one investigation involving a suspicious death," Jaffe said. 

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UPDATE, March 12: According to Delaware State Police Master Corporal Melissa Jaffe, the death is "suspicious in nature" and the DSP Homicide Unit is investigating the case.

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UPDATE: Police have confirmed the deceased to be a female.

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Delaware State Police are conducting a death investigation after a body was found in Laurel. The adult victim’s identity is unknown at this time.

On March 9, at around 7:30 a.m., troopers were dispatched to South Shell Bridge Road, in the area of Broad Creek Estates, for a victim found dead on the side of the road.

The body was turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science for autopsy.

The investigation is in its early stages. Further information will be released as it becomes available.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. J. King at 302-741-2821. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.