UPDATE | Police suspect body found is man missing since July 22
WARREN — Police say the body found about 15 feet off of Risher Road near Pershing Avenue Southwest Sunday evening was badly decomposed, so dental records and DNA will be used to help determine whether it is the body of Jerry Hughley, 35, of Warren, who had been missing for a week.
Capt. Robert Massucci of the Warren Police Department said they believe it is Hughley because of the circumstances. It's hard to say how long the body had been at that location, but family members of Hughley's found the body while looking for him.
An odor was part of what led them to find the body, Massucci said.
One of the circumstances that lead police to believe the body is that of Hugley is that his girlfriend, Brittany May, 28, was found shot to death at about the same time Hughley went missing.
"The word we got was that they were constantly together," Massucci said of the pair, who lived together at various places in the city, sometimes with relatives.
“It’s sad. It’s a sad situation,” a woman living on Pershing Avenue said of seeing the family of Jerry Hughley gather at the corner of Pershing and Risher Road Southwest Sunday night after a relative discovered the body.
The family had searched for Hughley since July 22, when May's body was found in a remote area on Front Street Southwest, about a mile away from where the male's body was found Sunday. May had four children.
“I was just heartbroken for the mom,” the woman said of a woman crying and wanting to get closer to the body, but she was not allowed. “They’ve been really looking for him,” the Pershing woman said.
The male's body was found at 5:43 p.m. on the north side of Risher just east of Pershing. A police report released this morning lists the man as John Doe.
Marilyn Allen, who called 911 to say she had found his body, said, “I’ve been out here looking for my nephew, Jay Hughley, and I think I just found him in the woods. Hurry up.” Jay is apparently a nick name for Jerry Hughley, Massucci said.
The Pershing woman said the family gathered this weekend at Deemer Park to search for Hughley, who had not been seen since 6 p.m. July 21. May’s body was found on Front Street near Deemer Park at 12:06 a.m. July 22. Hughley was reported missing July 23.
The Pershing woman said this is the third body found on or near Pershing Avenue in recent years.
“It seems like it is a dumping site,” she said. “We had a problem with trash, and I thought they put [surveillance] cameras up,” she said.
The woman said there are not a lot of families living on Pershing. The closest house to where the body was found Sunday is vacant.
“Everybody is scared because these are terrible people,” the woman said of whoever killed May and the male found Sunday. “Who does this?”