Mother, 66, accused of murdering son, hiding body in container behind false wall

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – On Saturday, the Gulfport Police Department announced the arrest of 66-year-old Jerri Lynn Isreal on the charge of first-degree murder.

The incident began on December 22 after officers received calls about a possible missing person in the 2200 block of 16th Avenue.

Throughout the week, detectives conducted several follow-ups and began noticing contradictions in statements given by Isreal. She became increasingly uncooperative and changed her statements multiple times.

It was also found that Isreal was arrested and convicted of murder in Florida in 1995; detectives found she did, in fact, commit the murder and made several attempts to dump the body at different locations throughout Florida. With this information, detectives were able to obtain a search warrant for Isreal’s home.

At around 10 a.m. on January 18, detectives and crime scene technicians searched the residence. At this time, Isreal was taken to a local hospital after she consumed an unsafe amount of pills. The search uncovered a large wooden box, later identified by officials as a “military locker-style container,” with a dead body inside. The container was found behind a false wall.

The body was later identified as 42-year-old John Allen Gaither of Gulfport, Isreal’s son.

Isreal was processed and transported to the Harrison County Adult Detention Center to be held in lieu of her bond.

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