Johnny Cash's great-niece found stabbed to death in gruesome murder
In heartbreaking and shocking news, Courtney Cash, the 23-year-old great-niece of the legendary Johnny Cash, was found stabbed to death and stuffed into a large wooden box in her Tennessee home on Wednesday morning.
Local police say the killing was the result of an "altercation among three friends." The suspect, 27-year-old Wayne Gary Masciarella, was reportedly invited to Cash's home on Tuesday night when a fight broke out. Making the horrific incident all the more tragic? Cash had a 20-month-old daughter, who was reportedly in the house at the time!
Thankfully, Cash's live-in boyfriend and father to the young girl, William Austin Johnson, was able to escape the home with the toddler and drive himself to a local hospital, despite suffering from multiple stab wounds himself.
Police received a 911 call at 10:40 am Wednesday, but followed the ping location to the wrong address. A second 911 call, 20 minutes later, led them to Cash and Johnson's home, where they found Cash's body.
Authorities have not yet revealed an exact motive, but suggest the killings may have been drug-related. Masciarella has since been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Tommy Cash, the brother of the late singer and Courtney's grandfather, issued a statement on behalf of the family Thursday, asking for privacy and thanking the public for their support.
This is awful beyond words. It's difficult to believe that a fight between friends could spiral so out of control and my heart breaks for that little girl, who was there at the time of this violent outburst and now has to grow up without her mother. I'm just relieved to hear that her dad was able to do what needed to be done to get the child out of there safely, despite being injured himself. He is truly a hero! Thankfully, the man responsible for all of this heinous murder has been caught and hopefully, justice will be served. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Cash family and all of their loved ones!