December 27, 2016

(STATS) - The mother of Jacksonville State football coach John Grass, who had battled Alzheimer's and gone missing earlier in the week, was found dead Tuesday morning in Jacksonville, Alabama.

The body of Virginia Dugger Grass, 78, was discovered in a pond about three-quarters of a mile from her home, St. Clair County assistant sheriff Billy Murray said. After celebrating the Christmas holiday with family Sunday, Grass disappeared between 9 p.m. that night and 7 a.m. Monday.

She had been battling Alzheimer's for about five years, according to a family post on Facebook.

Odenville police announced Grass' disappearance Monday morning. Nearly 200 people participated in a search for her.

Her son, who has led Jacksonville State to the Ohio Valley Conference championship in each of his three seasons as head coach, released a statement via Twitter: "My family appreciates your love and support for us during this time. Momma was a lady who loved her family, the community, church and served 35 years as a bus driver. She was a special woman with a big heart. My mom is at home now where she wanted to be."

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