Woman found dead Monday is sister of July 11 shooting victim

STEUBENVILLE — Friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay the funeral expenses of Brittany Littlejohn, the 32-year-old mother of two who was found dead under suspicious circumstances early Monday not far from her burned-out home.

Littlejohn’s body was found near her home at 417 Maxwell Ave., where police had responded earlier after getting reports of breaking glass. Discovering a fire engulfing the living room area, officers kicked in the back door and were able to rescue a small dog from the kitchen, but heavy smoke prevented them from going through the rest of the residence.

Police Chief Bill McCafferty said evidence discovered at the scene led detectives to believe Littlejohn had been murdered, though the coroner has yet to release an official cause of death.

Littlejohn’s death came barely a month after the shooting death of her brother, 24-year-old William R. Ross III, whose body was found in an alley off of South Seventh Street, across the street from Market Square Apartments. Security tapes from the morning of the July 11 shooting had shown a female exiting the apartment, followed by two males wearing sweatshirts with the hoods pulled up over their heads and then Ross staggering out of the apartment.

McCafferty said police do not believe the two incidents are connected, saying at this point authorities believe Littlejohn’s death was a domestic crime.

Police have identified Jason Cortez Twiley, 27, as a person of interest in Littlejohn’s death. McCafferty described Twiley as a black male standing about 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing about 220 pounds.

The GoFundMe campaign sponsors want to help Littlejohn’s family pay for her funeral.

“Brittany’s dear mother … has undoubtedly suffered enough heartache and pain in the recent unexpected loss of two of her children back-to-back,” they said. “We humbly ask that those who are capable to aid this family in any way possible do so, so that this grieving mother can receive the proper closure she needs, not merely for herself but, most of all, for Brittany’s two beautiful children.”

For information, visit gofundme.com/f/brittany-littlejohn039s-funeral-fund