RED BLUFF — The killer in the Rashell Ward case has been named.
On Facebook, Jessica Criss, Ward’s niece, announced this morning that the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office had identified Johnny Lee Coy as the killer. Coy had been in prison since 1989 and died in 2019 while imprisoned, according to Criss’ post.
Ward was killed in 1984 at age 14. She was kidnapped and picked up on her way to Seventh Day Adventist School on South Jackson Street. At the time, it was reported that somebody saw a young girl matching her description in the killer’s car. Her body was later found in the Pine Creek area of Butte County.
Barbara Fullem, a resident who has been interested in the case for years, said when law enforcement discovered Ward, they found her hands tied behind her back. She had been shot execution-style in the back of the head.
The press conference will take place 2 p.m. at the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office.
This story will be updated as new information becomes available from the press conference.