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Body of missing Coral Springs woman found buried in backyard of Mississippi man’s home

Sheriff says Phillip York, 54, killed Sarah Willard, 29, after meeting her online

The body of Sarah Willard, 29, of Coral Springs, was found buried in the backyard of Phillip York's home. York, 54, is charged with murder.
The body of Sarah Willard, 29, of Coral Springs, was found buried in the backyard of Phillip York's home. York, 54, is charged with murder.

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – A South Florida woman who had been missing since last year was found buried in the backyard of a Mississippi man's home, police said.

Sarah Willard, 29, of Coral Springs, was found dead on Valentine's Day in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Jackson County, Mississippi, Sheriff Mike Ezell said Phillip York, 54, killed Willard and buried her body in his backyard.

Coral Springs police Officer Francis Capre said an investigation led detectives to believe that Willard had traveled to Mississippi in October.

A joint investigation between the FBI, Coral Springs Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff's Office led investigators to Willard's body.

Ezell said Willard met York online.

According to a missing person’s report, Willard’s husband, Daryl Jahnke, told detectives that his wife was “extremely bipolar,” and had the tendency to leave the area randomly to travel or to meet up with people she met online.

He said she would usually stay in touch with relatives during the week or two that she would be gone, the report stated.

According to the report, Jahnke said he woke up the morning of Oct. 29 to find his wife gone, as well as all of her belongings. He said they texted throughout the day and she told him she was heading to Texas.

After their final contact at 11 p.m. that night, Jahnke never heard from his wife again.

York has been charged with murder. Authorities did not say how Willard was killed.

Investigators said York is a felon who previously served 10 years in a Virginia prison for stabbing a woman.


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