GULFPORT, MS – A strange case of deceit and murder has come to light in Gulfport, Mississippi. A woman has been charged with murdering her son after officials discovered his body concealed in a wooden box hidden behind a “false wall” in her house.
Jerri Lynn Roby, age 66, also known as Israel, now faces the severe charge of first-degree murder. This is after the police found the body of her 42-year-old son, John Allen Gaither, stowed away behind a bogus wall in her residence. Gulfport Police Department’s Jason DuCré added that multiple homemade wooden boxes were also located in her home and garage.
Investigations initiated on December 22, 2023, following a relative’s report of Gaither being missing, pointed out that the last contact made with Gaither was on December 10. However, the investigation started experiencing hurdles as Roby’s statements constantly changed. She became increasingly uncooperative, as recorded in the police documentation.
Investigators soon discovered that Roby was previously involved in a murder case in Florida around 1995. She made attempts to dispose of a body at different locations within the state, leading the police to conduct a search at her house on January 18.
Upon the officers’ arrival, Roby tried to commit suicide by swallowing an unidentified quantity of pills and had to be hospitalized for medical attention.
The search of Roby’s home led to the chilling discovery of Gaither’s body. The authorities have stated that Roby tried to conceal the crime by sending notes, impersonating her son, to relatives to assure them of Gaither’s well-being.
After being discharged from the hospital, Roby was arrested on Saturday and is currently held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center due to the severity of the charge and her background.
Authorities appeal to anyone with additional information regarding the case to contact the Gulfport Police Department or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers. As of now, requests for further information have gone unanswered by the Gulfport Police Department’s spokesperson.