Johnny Cash's Great-Niece's Body Found Stuffed Into Box UPDATE: Suspected Killer Arrested by Tennessee Authorities
Mar 21, 2014 04:24 PM EDT
A man has been charged with first degree murder for the alleged killing of Courtney Cash, the great-niece of musician Johnny Cash.
According to the Associated Press, 27-year-old Wayne Masciarella of Cape May County, N.J. was taken into police custody on Wednesday, after police found Courtney's body stuffed into a chest in a Nashville-area home.
Masciarella has also been charged with the stabbing of Courtney's boyfriend, William Austin Johnson, who was checked into Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville to receive treatment for multiple knife wounds on the day that Courtney's body was found.
Police discovered Courtney's remains at a home in the 8100 block of Rice Road in Baxter, located about 100 miles east of Nashville.
According to a report by Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews, Courtney and Johnson went out with an acquaintance prior to an altercation with Masciarella that happened in the home where the two lived with their young daughter. The child was home at the time, but Johnson reportedly grabbed the child before fleeing the house. The daughter did not sustain any injuries in the scuffle, ABC's affiliate station WATE reported.
"There was a struggle," the sheriff confirmed.
Andrews wagered the suspect might have tried to hide Cash's remains, and that the death might have been drug-related, but these details haven't yet been confirmed.
"This is a senseless, tragic death of a young lady whose life was probably taken as a direct or indirect result of drugs," Andrews told Fox.
Masciarella will make his first court appearance on April 21. He's currently being held with no bond, and it's unclear whether he has a legal representative at this time.
Not much information is available for Masciarella at this time, but according to a Facebook account under his name, it appears the 27-year-old moved to Tennessee to attend Cookeville High School.