Home US A 22-year-old Mississippi nursing student was found mutilated in a cemetery after her father, a surgeon, warned a Nashville judge that her life was in danger

A 22-year-old Mississippi nursing student was found mutilated in a cemetery after her father, a surgeon, warned a Nashville judge that her life was in danger

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Bricen Rivers, 23, was in jail for holding his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Johnsen, 22, captive and brutally beating her while they were on vacation in Nashville.

Respected surgeon Lance Johansen pleaded with a judge not to let his daughter’s boyfriend out of jail or he would kill her. Lauren Johnsen, 22, was found mutilated in her car parked in a cemetery.

Bricen Rivers, 23, was in jail for holding his longtime girlfriend, Lauren, captive and brutally beating her while they were on vacation together in Nashville.

“I sat in court in Nashville and told the judge that if they let him out, I was going to kill her,” he said.

“He had attacked her. It was probably the fifth or sixth time they had fought and he had hit her. We would keep her away from him for a while, but he would find a way to get back into trouble.”

Dr. Johansen drove from Biloxi, Mississippi, to make the impassioned plea in court in Nashville after Rivers’ arrest in December, and for a time, it worked.

Bricen Rivers, 23, was in jail for holding his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Johnsen, 22, captive and brutally beating her while they were on vacation in Nashville.

Lauren was found wrapped in the back of her car in a cemetery, her body mutilated and wrapped in garbage bags and a sheet.

Lauren was found wrapped in the back of her car in a cemetery, her body mutilated and wrapped in garbage bags and a sheet.

But after languishing in jail for seven months, Rivers’ attorney convinced Judge Cheryl Blackburn to reduce his bail from $250,000 to $150,000 so he could get out.

He was supposed to go directly to a company that would install a GPS ankle monitor as a condition of his bail, but instead he disappeared.

“They let him out and they didn’t tell us anything, and they didn’t put the ankle monitor on him. They just let him walk out of the jail,” Johansen said. WLOX.

The father had no idea Rivers had been released from jail until he received a voicemail from the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office on Monday.

“This is Bailey calling from the District Attorney’s Office in Nashville. Bricen Rivers has been released,” the message shared with WLOX began.

‘He was supposed to report directly to a GPS company and be placed on a GPS monitor and not leave Davidson County.

“But as soon as he was released, he didn’t show up at the GPS monitoring company and was never heard from again. I wanted to make sure Lauren was safe.”

But Lauren wasn’t safe.

After languishing in jail for seven months, Rivers' attorney convinced the judge to reduce his bail from $250,000 to $150,000 so he could get out.

After languishing in jail for seven months, Rivers’ attorney convinced the judge to reduce his bail from $250,000 to $150,000 so he could get out.

Rivers was in the car, but fled into the woods as soon as police showed up, leading them on a chase that lasted hours.

Rivers was in the car, but fled into the woods as soon as police showed up, leading them on a chase that lasted hours.

Johansen desperately tried to call her, but she didn’t answer, and said the text messages he received from her number “didn’t really sound like the way she spoke.”

At around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, she received a notification that her Life360 tracker was off.

Later, her youngest daughter, who lived with Lauren, said she found the security camera smashed and the door open. Lauren was nowhere to be found.

Johansen filed a missing person report with the Hattiesburg Police Department in Biloxi, but when she called the next morning, she said little had been done.

“We assumed they were going to track the vehicle and try to find her, but they never did until Wednesday at 3 p.m. when I insisted they find out where the car was,” he said.

Lauren’s car set off an alarm at Wolf River Cemetery in an isolated area of ​​Gulfport, Mississippi, and police were called to the scene.

Rivers was in the car, but fled into the woods as soon as police showed up, leading them on a chase that lasted hours.

Johansen said as soon as he arrived on the scene he knew Lauren was dead.

Respected surgeon Lance Johansen pleaded with the judge not to let Rivers out of jail, or he would kill Lauren.

Respected surgeon Lance Johansen pleaded with the judge not to let Rivers out of jail, or he would kill Lauren.

Lauren's house was found with the security camera smashed and the door open, and she disappeared.

Lauren’s house was found with the security camera smashed and the door open, and she disappeared.

Lauren's car sounded a siren at Wolf River Cemetery, an isolated area of ​​Gulfport, Mississippi, where police found her body inside.

Lauren’s car sounded a siren at Wolf River Cemetery, an isolated area of ​​Gulfport, Mississippi, where police found her body inside.

Her mutilated body was found inside the car, wrapped in sheets and garbage bags and lying on the back seat.

“They basically beat her to death. They smashed her face and head, they beat her so badly that she couldn’t see out of either eye when she finally died and she had multiple holes in her head,” her father said.

“I helped the coroner remove the body from the car. It was mutilated.”

Rivers, whose social media claims he is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was finally located around 11:30 p.m. after a nearly nine-hour manhunt.

“We quickly realized the subject still had his cell phone on him,” Harrison County Sheriff Matt Haley said.

‘The undercover officers were able to trick Rivers into thinking he was talking to a friend via text messages, and we were able to get him out of the woods.’

Some 50 officers also used drones, helicopters and dogs in the search.

Rivers was booked into the Harrison County Jail at 1 a.m. Thursday, where he remains on $1 million bail, charged with murder.

Rivers was booked into the Harrison County Jail at 1 a.m. Thursday, where he remains on $1 million bail, charged with murder.

Rivers was booked into the Harrison County Jail at 1 a.m. Thursday, where he remains on $1 million bail, charged with murder.

“I believe the Nashville criminal justice system failed my daughter and our family,” Johansen said.

“The world shouldn’t work like this. She was really beautiful, super smart. She had dreams and hopes bigger than life.”

“Everything he did, everything he touched turned to gold.”

The orthopedic surgeon said Lauren was studying at the University of Southern Mississippi to become a nurse.

Lauren’s body will undergo an autopsy next week.

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