HOMER — A Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office employee who went missing has been found dead and an arrest has been made in the case.
Sulyn Prince, 69, of the 300 block of Bridges Street in Homer was reported missing Monday morning around 9 a.m.
Homer Police Chief Russell Mills said Prince’s daughter was unable to contact her by phone and called police to check on her.
Mills said police went to her home on a welfare check. Once police arrived at the home, he said they found evidence consistent with foul play.
Louisiana State Police investigators and forensic scientists with LSP were called in to process the scene.
Forensic examiners from the LSP Crime Lab in Baton Rouge, the Shreveport Fire Department Cadaver Search Team and the David Wade Correctional Search Team were brought in to help locate Prince.
During the investigation, troopers said evidence was discovered in a wooded area behind her home that was consistent with evidence found at the scene.
Members of the Cadaver Search Team deployed their K-9s and discovered a shallow grave containing Prince’s remains. Investigators and forensic examiners worked through the night processing the scene and following leads, which led to the arrest of 35-year-old Jermaine Johnson of Homer for second-degree murder.
Johnson is a Tier 3 registered sex offender and was convicted of simple rape in April 2015, according to police.
Police say this is an ongoing investigation and could lead to more charges.
Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton says Prince, master control operator at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center, was a good employee and called her death a tragedy.
“She was an extremely good employee, a very dedicated employee,” he said. “She was one of the better employees I had out there.
Every time I talked to her, you could just tell she enjoyed her job. It’s just a tragedy. It’s going to be hard to replace her with someone who had the personality and experience, just the caliber of person she was. This is something that didn’t have to occur.”
He says theories regarding motive are being discussed but state police won’t know anything until they talk to Johnson. He expressed his appreciation to Homer Police Chief Russell Mills and Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey for keeping him abreast of the investigation.
“It was the epitome of law enforcement last night,” he said. “I was amazed at the way the men and women of law enforcement worked together like they did last night, watching it all come together.”
This is the third employee the sheriff’s office has lost in the last 30 days, Sexton said.