March 21, 2014 10:12

Johnny Cash's great niece found stabbed to death

Courtney Cash was found in a box in a house 70 miles east of Nashville

Johnny Cash's great niece found stabbed to death

Photo: Facebook

Johnny Cash's great niece has been found stabbed to death and stuffed into a box in her home in Tennessee after a fight with a family friend.

Courtney Cash, 23, was discovered on Wednesday morning (March 19) in her house near Cookeville, about 70 miles east of Nashville, Billboard reports.

Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews said her body was discovered in a chest just inside the front door. A man identified as William Austin Johnson, Cash's boyfriend, was being treated for stab wounds at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Johnson and Cash lived together in the house with their young child. Andrews confirmed that the pair had gone out with a friend before an altercation took place. Johnson escaped the attack and took the child with him before driving to the hospital, Andrews said.

The friend, identified as Wayne Gary Masciarella, has been charged with first-degree murder. Andrews said that the suspect may have been trying to hide Cash's body. He also indicated that the stabbings were likely connected to drugs.

"This is a senseless, tragic death of a young lady whose life was probably taken as a direct or indirect result of drugs," he said.

In a statement about the loss of his granddaughter, Johnny Cash's brother, Tommy Cash said: "We are completely heartbroken."

Masciarella is currently being held without bond. He has a court date scheduled for April 21.

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