Former Mississippi state representative Ashley Henley was found dead outside her home in a burned-out trailer on Sunday night in Yalobusha County. According to investigators, Henley was murdered. Interestingly, it's the same place where her sister-in-law was also found dead last year, thus raising suspicious about both the deaths and their pattern.
Henley's body was found on Patricia Drive in the Water Valley Boat Landing community on Sunday night around 10 pm, the Yalobusha County Sheriff's Department said in a release. An investigation has been launched after Henley's mysterious death. Police are also looking into her sister-in-law's death once again. However, no arrests have been made in this connection yet.
Henley, 40, was found dead from a gunshot wound on Sunday night. He body was recovered from outside a burned trailer, where her sister-in-law Kristina Michelle Jones was also found dead on December 26, according to reports.
According to her family, Hanley was mowing grass in the property at that time when she was shot in the back of the head. However, there were no eyewitnesses to the horrifying murder. Police have launched an investigation and the case is being treated as a homicide.
That said, the investigators are now puzzled about the pattern of Henley and Jones' death, as both their bodies were found in the burned trailer. Jones had apparently died in a trailer fire, the Commercial Appeal reported. But investigators are now reportedly taking a deeper look in both the deaths.
"We are going back to square one (on Jones' case) after receiving an initial Fire Marshal's report and lab reports," Assistant District Attorney Steven Jubera told Mississippi Today.
Taking a Fresh Look
Police said that alongside Henley's investigation they have also launched a fresh prove in Jones' death and are no longer treating it as an accident. "We are looking at that with fresh eyes."
Henley was reportedly frustrated with her sister-in-law's case, she posted on social media recently, according to the publication. Jubera said the family had "gone through a lot" in the last six months. "We will investigate this as thoroughly as possible — do everything possible to get it right," he said.
Henley served as representative of District 40 in DeSoto County from 2016-2020 and was vice chair of the House Military Affairs Committee and a member of the Education, Tourism, Workforce Development and Youth and Family Affairs committees.
Prior to that, she was also a teacher. After losing her re-election bid in 2019 by 14 votes, Henley challenged the outcome of the election over perceived irregularities but the Republican-controlled House reportedly denied a petition to change the results.
Henley's former colleague, Republican Rep. Dan Eubanks, said on Facebook on Monday that he was "heartbroken and angry" about the news. "What an absolute loss to our state, county, me personally, and most importantly her dear family," Eubanks said.
State Rep. Steve Hopkins of Southaven was Henley's friend. He told FOX13, "I am thinking the investigation is going to run deep because, from what I understand, goes into another murder investigation as well. And I personally am calling on the FBI to investigate this case," Hopkins said.