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Gunshot killed woman found in Newport

Police classify case as a homicide, say there is no relation to victim killed in March.

September 04, 2013|By Jeremiah Dobruck
(Provided by Newport…)

The woman found dead under Newport Beach's Bay Bridge this week died of a gunshot wound, an autopsy confirmed Wednesday.

Officials had called the death of 28-year-old Nancy Hammour "suspicious" since passersby found her body Monday morning, but Newport police have reclassified the case as a homicide, said department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.

At 8:45 a.m. Monday, police responded to a call about a body found underneath the Bay Bridge near East Coast Highway and Bayside Drive.

When officers arrived, they determined Hammour, who lived in Santa Ana, was dead.

Police closed portions of East Coast Highway and Orange County Sheriff's Department divers scoured under the bridge.

Manzella declined to say whether divers found anything or release any more information, citing the ongoing investigation.

Orange County Superior Court records show Hammour ran afoul of the law in her past.

In 2008 she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor prostitution and drunk driving charges.

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Most recently, she pleaded guilty in January to a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.

She was placed on probation for three years and ordered to attend a diversion program for 18 months, according to court records.

That probation was revoked in July, according to court documents.

Hammour's brother declined to speak with a Daily Pilot reporter Wednesday but other family members told KTLA-5 that Hammour was trying to turn her life around and regain custody of her 4-month-old son.

She also has a 10-year-old son, Hammour's sister told KTLA.

"Deep inside I feel horrible to the point where I feel like I could of done something to help her avoid this," Hammour's brother, Rene Morales, wrote on Facebook Tuesday. "Now I hope you are up there relaxing with our dad, watching over us and having a nice, cold Corona."

Hammour is the second homicide victim this year found by passersby in Newport Beach.

Tina Hoang, 20, was found dead face-down on the sand in West Newport this March.

Like Hammour, Hoang had a child in the months before her death and faced prostitution charges in the past.

Hoang's case is still under investigation, but there's no reason to think the two deaths are connected, Manzella said.

"There is no evidence of any kind suggesting that the two cases are related, and significant evidence indicating that they are completely unrelated," Manzella said in an email.

The department asked anyone with more information to call a hotline at 1-800-550-NBPD. Tips can be accepted anonymously.

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