Coroner: School counselor's body was decapitated

STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Stone County Coroner Wayne Flurry confirms the grisly remains of a body found this week outside a Stone County home were Sherry Johnson. But identifying her was not an easy task. He said Friday that the 51-year old guidance counselor at Hattiesburg High School was decapitated, and he had to turn to surgical records to identify her.

Johnson was found dead Wednesday in her home on Johnson Road, just outside the Wiggins city limits, according to Stone County authorities. Her son, Terrell Johnson, 29, is now charged with first-degree murder. Investigators also recovered two weapons at the crime scene and sent them to the state crime lab.

Flurry said there were fractures on the victim's body that indicated she was strangled. He said the body was discovered between a privacy fence and a tree. The severed head was found on the other side of the fence, about 15-20 feet away. He believes Johnson's killer attempted to conceal her body between the fence, a tree, and another bush.

The coroner says deputies performed a welfare check at Johnson's home because no one heard from her for a few days.  He believes it was a deputy who discovered the body.

The Hattiesburg Public School District is offering counseling services to any district employees or students affected by Johnson's death.

Anyone with information about this investigation should contact Stone County Sheriff's Office at (601) 928-7251

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