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Mississippi mother convicted of murder in 1995 charged with killing her son, hiding body in false wall


A Gulfport, Mississippi woman who was convicted of murder in 1995 has been arrested again, this time for allegedly killing her son and stashing his body behind a false wall.

The Gulfport Police Department said 66-year-old Jerri Lynn Isreal was arrested on Saturday and charged with first-degree murder.

According to the investigation, officers responded to a home on 16th Avenue at about 5:45 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2023, for reports of a missing person.

After several follow-up interviews with Isreal, detectives began to notice on Dec. 27 that there were several discrepancies in her statements.

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Jerri Lynn Isreal allegedly killed her son and stashed his body behind a fake wall. (Gulfport Police Department)

Police said Isreal became increasingly uncooperative throughout the investigation and changed her statements multiple times.

Investigators learned Isreal had been arrested and convicted of murder in Florida in 1995.

The detectives further discovered she had attempted to dump the body of the deceased person at several locations throughout Florida.

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With that information, detectives obtained a search warrant for her home, which was executed at about 10 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2024.

As detectives and crime scene technicians executed the search warrant, Isreal was transported to a nearby hospital for unspecified medical treatment.

Detectives at the home discovered a wooden box behind a false wall during the search, which police said contained a body later identified as John Allen Gaither.

According to WLOX in Biloxi, Mississippi, Gaither is Isreal’s son.

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Isreal was taken to police headquarters for processing, then transported to the Harrison County Adult Detention Center where she was held.

The investigation into the matter is ongoing and police encourage anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 228-868-5959 or the Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898.



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