Johnny Cash's great-niece found dead near Cookeville

WSMV-TV in Nashville reports that the woman found murdered in a Putnam County home has been identified as the great-niece of legendary performer Johnny Cash.

Courtney Cash was found dead, stuffed inside a large wooden box in her home on Rice Road on Wednesday morning. Courtney Cash is the granddaughter of Tommy Cash, Johnny Cash's brother.

The man who lived with her was gravely injured and was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His name has not been released at this time.

Tommy Cash issued a statement Thursday afternoon.

"We ask for your prayers for the Cash family at this time. Courtney and her boyfriend are beloved members of my family and like you we have a lot of questions and emotions that we are beginning to sort through today. We ask for you to respect our privacy and appreciate all the support that the public and media has always offered my family, as we handle the loss of my grand-daughter, pray for the father of my great-grand child and journey through the search for justice on this violent act. We are completely heartbroken. It is a time like this that we are grateful for our faith and trusting the loving guidance of God."

Wayne Gary Masciarella, 27, was taken into custody in Cookeville in connection to the crime. Masciarella is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge. His next court date is April 21.

Detectives say they think the two victims invited a friend over to hang out and they got into a fight.


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