Teen found dead in woods
OXFORD WEEKLY PLANET
Saturday, July 15, 2023
YHS senior found slain in woods
Teen was reportedly ambushed en route to school event
Katherine Brown, 18, was found dead this morning in the wooded area east of Oxford Memorial Cemetery.
The Yoknapatawpha High School senior was on the way to a Cheer Up mentoring event for middle school cheerleaders when she was attacked and killed. Her body was found by a classmate and a YHS coach who were also participating in the Cheer Up event.
Yoknapatapwha County spokeswoman Elizabeth Jones would not say how Brown had died but confirmed that the death is being investigated as a homicide. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.
Jones declined to comment on whether any potential suspects have been identified.
Brown was the captain of the Yoknapatawpha High School varsity cheer squad and also worked part-time at the Yoknaptawpha County Library. The high school will have grief counselors on campus Monday morning to assist students, many of whom are shocked and devastated by Brown's loss.
"Katy's a great girl," said senior Samuel Wells. "School won't be the same without her. I can't believe someone would do this to her."
Community members are horrified by the slaying and concerned about safety in the area.
"The place where they found her? That's right behind the middle school and the elementary school," said Deborah Burke, mother of two school-age children. "How are we supposed to let our kids go back to class this year with a crazed murderer running around so close to their schools?"
Jones urged parents and others to remain calm, saying investigators believe Brown's death was not connected to any other crimes.
"We have no indications at this time that this was anything other than an isolated incident," Jones said. "The sheriff's department is devoting all our resources to bringing this killer to justice, and until that happens, we will increase patrols in the vicinity to ensure the safety of the students as well as the faculty and parents."
"If anyone has any information that will help us apprehend the person or persons responsible for Katherine Brown's death," Jones added, "please contact the sheriff's department or Yoknapatawpha Crime Stoppers."
Katherine Brown is survived by her parents, Richard and Lauren Brown, and a younger brother, Cody. The family declined to comment for this story.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Check back for updates on this developing story.