GULFPORT, Miss. – Following a week-long investigation, the Gulfport Police Department has made an arrest in connection to the disappearance of a local resident. 66-year-old Jerri Lynn Isreal has been charged with first-degree murder in the case. The investigation began after reports of a missing person in the 2200 block of 16th Avenue in Gulfport on December 22.
Detectives worked diligently to follow up on leads and conduct interviews, during which they noticed inconsistencies in Isreal’s statements. As their suspicion grew, they discovered that Isreal had a prior conviction for murder in Florida in 1995. They learned that she had not only committed the murder but also attempted to dispose of the body at various locations in Florida. Armed with this information, detectives obtained a search warrant for Isreal’s residence.
Upon executing the search on January 18, authorities found a large wooden box hidden behind a false wall. Inside the container was the body of 42-year-old John Allen Gaither, Isreal’s son. Isreal was rushed to the hospital after consuming a dangerous amount of pills. Once released, she was taken into custody and transported to the Harrison County Adult Detention Center.
The discovery of Gaither’s body has shocked the community, and there is an outpouring of grief and sympathy for the family. The Gulfport Police Department is urging anyone with information about the case to come forward to aid in the ongoing investigation.
Isreal remains in custody, held without bond, as the legal process unfolds. The details of this tragic case continue to unfold as authorities work to bring justice for Gaither and his loved ones.