Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Former Mason woman was most likely strangled

By Janice Morse, jmorse@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — A preliminary autopsy report on a former Mason woman showed she was most likely strangled to death, Sgt. Larry Epler of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina said Monday.

        Jennifer Gail Wright, 32, a daughter of Archie and Wilma Jean Watson of Mason, was found in a shallow grave Friday after her husband, Army Master Sgt. William Clark Wright Jr., 36, led Army and sheriff's investigators to a remote, wooded area on Fort Bragg grounds.

        He appeared Monday in Cumberland County District Court on a charge of first-degree murder and was being held without bond, Sgt. Epler said.

        Sgt. Wright is a 1984 graduate of Mason High School, school officials confirmed; the couple married Dec. 19, 1987, when she was 18 and he was a 21-year-old soldier, according to Warren County marriage license records.

        Sgt. Wright was born in Missouri; Mrs. Wright was born in Covington.

        Sgt. Wright reported his wife missing from their Fayetteville, N.C., home July 1. Authorities sent out news advisories seeking help finding her. Then the Cumberland sheriff's office reported last week that her husband was accused of having buried her June 29.

        Sgt. Epler said the sheriff's office had no prior reports of violence between the couple; he didn't know how long they had lived in Fayetteville.

        The Fayetteville Observer reported that Sgt. Wright had returned about a month ago from Afghanistan, where he served with the 3rd Special Forces Group.

        The newspaper reported that Mrs. Wright's father, Archie Watson, said the couple had recently discussed divorcing.

        Mr. Watson reportedly was in North Carolina on Monday to pick up his grandchildren.


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