Woman found in St. Martin died by gunshot wound to head, autopsy reveals

A woman whose body was found buried in the backyard of a St. Martin home earlier this year, died of a single gunshot wound to the head, according to autopsy results released by the state medical examiner.

On February 14, Jackson County Sheriff’s investigators recovered the body of 29-year-old Sarah Jane Willard. She was buried in the backyard of a home on Sweetbriar Street owned by 54-year-old Phillip Allen York. York is charged with Willard’s murder.

Sheriff Mike Ezell says in early February, investigators began working with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force in Willard’s disappearance from her Coral Springs, Florida home. The woman went missing in October, 2019. Sheriff Ezell says the victim met York online.

York has been jailed at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center since his arrest. His bond is set at $250,000 on the murder charge. He also has a $100,000 bond for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The sheriff says York served time in Virginia for stabbing a woman. On March 9, 2020, York waived his preliminary court hearing. His case is pending review by a Jackson County grand jury.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Mississippi State News

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