Dental records and DNA will be used to help determine whether it is the body of Jerry D. Hughley

By Ed Runyan


Police said the body found about 15 feet off Risher Road near Pershing Avenue Southwest on Sunday evening was badly decomposed, so dental records and DNA will be used to help determine if it’s Jerry D. 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. Family members of Hughley 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 led police to believe the body is that of Hughley is that his girlfriend, Brittany May, 28, was found shot to death 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.

The Cuyahoga County Coroner’s office is expected to conduct an autopsy today, and officials at that office and Trumbull County Coroner’s office will work together to use DNA and dental records to determine if it’s Hughley.

The coroner’s office has ruled May’s death a homicide from multiple gunshot wounds.

“It’s sad. It’s a sad situation,” a woman living on Pershing Avenue said of seeing Hughley’s family gather at the corner of Pershing and Risher Road Southwest on Sunday night after the body was found.

The family had searched for Hughley since July 22, when May’s body was found in an isolated area of Front Street Southwest, about a mile away from where the male’s body was found Sunday. May had four children. Hughley was described in a June 14 police report as having three children and a bad drug habit.

Marilyn Allen, who called 911 to say she had found his body, said, “I’ve been out here looking for my nephew ... and I think I just found him in the woods. Hurry up.”

Hughley 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.

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