Coroner: Body of HHS counselor was decapitated

Coroner: Body of HHS counselor was decapitated
Terrell Johnson (Photo source: Stone County Sheriff's Department)

STONE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - New details into the gruesome murder of a Hattiesburg High School guidance counselor are emerging. Stone County Coroner Wayne Flurry said Friday the body of 51-year-old Sherry Johnson was positively identified through medical records.

Flurry confirmed Johnson's body was found decapitated in the backyard of her home in Stone County on Wednesday afternoon. A head was found within 20 feet of the body across a fence in the backyard.

According to Flurry, Johnson had stab and cut wounds to her neck and head area, but there were no other visible or internal injuries to the rest of her body.

Flurry said he's still waiting on autopsy results and further testing to determine how Johnson died. He said the autopsy will be completed Monday at the earliest.

Officials with the Stone County Sheriff's Department confirm Johnson's son, 29-year-old Terrell Johnson, has been charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Flurry said Sherry Johnson was last seen alive by family members last Sunday. Her body was discovered three days later after concerned family members contacted authorities.

"We believe this event occurred two to three days prior to the discovery," Flurry said. "Evidence on the scene suggests the injuries themselves began and were sustained inside the home, but the body was found in the backyard."

According to the Hattiesburg Public School District, Johnson had been a guidance counselor at HHS for four years. The school district is offering grief counseling for students and staff affected by this tragic death.

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