Man accused of burying victim in backyard has history of violence against women
Police say the victim’s body was found buried in Phillip York’s backyard.
JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A Jackson County man accused of murdering a Florida woman has a history of violence against women.
Phillip York, 54, is accused of killing 29-year-old Sarah Jane Willard on Oct. 30, 2019, according to a court affidavit filed Tuesday. Willard’s body was found buried in the backyard of York’s Jackson County home. Investigators say she was last seen in Coral Springs, Fla. in October.
York previously spent ten years in a Virginia prison after stabbing a woman in a bar there.
Now, York is locked up once again. He was initially arrested on Feb. 7, 2020, and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was later charged with murder after multiple agencies converged on his property Feb. 14, 2020, and discovered the body of the missing woman buried in the backyard.
According to authorities, it is believed that York and Willard met online. Further investigation led law enforcement to York’s house on Sweetbriar Drive in St. Martin.
A $350,000 bond was set Tuesday for York. That bond consists of $250,000 for the murder charge and $100,000 bond for the firearm charge.
Willard’s body was sent to the state crime lab, where an autopsy was done Tuesday. We will update this story once we receive the initial findings on her cause of death.
Copyright 2020 WLOX. All rights reserved.