John Evander Couey was born September 19, 1958 in Florida. He was a truck driver with a long list of prior arrests for burglary, carrying a weapon without a permit, and indecent exposure. John Couey’s actions escalated dramatically on February 24, 2005 when he went to the home of Mark and Angela Lunsford and kidnapped their 9 year old daughter, Jessica.
John Couey took Jessica to his home and began repeatedly abusing her. After three days, Couey decided to get rid of Jessica and bound her hands with speaker wire, placed her in a trash bag, and buried her alive in his backyard in a 2-foot-deep grave.
John Couey was being hunted for a felony drug charge when he was arrested three weeks after the murder. He admitted to the kidnapping and Jessica’s body was soon found by the police. During the trial many facts were brought to light about how Jessica would have survived 3-5 minutes in the trash bag while suffocating. After deliberations by the jury he was found guilty of first degree murder, sexual assault of a minor, and kidnapping and was sentenced to death.
Before John Couey’s death sentence was carried out he died from cancer in prison on August 30, 2009. Jessica’s grandmother was quoted saying she does not feel bad for Couey, and that if she were physically able to, she would be parading around the street in happiness.