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Johnny Cash Grandniece Found Dead in Box at Putnam County Home

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The grandniece of Johnny Cash was murdered Wednesday in Putnam County, according to police.

Courtney Cash was reportedly found dead in a box on Rice Road. Police have arrested Wayne Gary Masciarella, supposedly a friend of the young woman, and have charged him with first-degree murder.

Police say that Cashs boyfriend, William Austin Johnson, was stabbed and was taken to Vanderbilt for treatment. His condition is said to be stable. Johnson and Cash had a 2-year-old child together.

The Cash family released a statement through Tommy Cash, Johnny Cashs brother and the grandfather of the murdered girl.

"We ask for your prayers for the Cash family at this time. Courtney and her boyfriend are beloved members of my family and like you we have a lot of questions and emotions that we are beginning to sort through today. We ask for you to respect our privacy and appreciate all the support that the public and media has always offered my family, as we handle the loss of my grand-daughter, pray for the father of my great-grand child and journey through the search for justice on this violent act. We are completely heartbroken. It is a time like this that we are grateful for our faith and trusting the loving guidance of God."

911 call

Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews said he believes the family came home and a struggle or argument ensued. Cash and Johnson were stabbed, and Johnson grabbed the child and ran, calling 911.

Police said they were delayed to responding to the call because they followed the cellphones GPS ping, but that took them to an abandoned house. A second 911 call led them to the residence.

Andrews said Masciarella has faced charges 20 times before with his department. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 20.

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