Manchester, Kentucky Female Charged with Murder after Deceased Male Located in Clay County / Victim Identified

MANCHESTER, KY – The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is reporting that on Saturday, January 06, 2024, at approximately 3:36 AM, KSP Post 11, London was notified by Clay County 911 of a deceased male near Crawfish Road in Clay County.

The preliminary investigation reveals that Clay County 911 was notified of a deceased male.

He was later identified as Rufus L. Smallwood Jr., 77, of Manchester, KY and had been reported missing to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, January 5, 2024. Mr. Smallwood had visible injuries suggestive of foul play.

Mr. Smallwood was pronounced deceased by the Clay County Coroner.  Mr. Smallwood has been taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

As a result of the investigation, KSP has arrested a female, John Lee Couch, 44 of Manchester.

John Couch was charged with:

  • 1 count of Murder
  • 1 count of Robbery 1st Degree. 

This individual has been lodged in the Clay County Detention Center.

Photo of the accused is courtesy of the Clay County Detention Center.

The investigation is continuing by Post 11 Detective Logan Gay.  He was assisted at the scene by Post 11 personnel, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Manchester Police Department, Clay County EMS, and Clay County Coroner.

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