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Friends struggle with woman's slaying

TNS Regional News • Mar 19, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Friends of Michelle Johnson can’t comprehend why anyone would want to harm the 21-year-old aspiring police officer.

Her body was found behind her home Saturday, days after her mother, Dianna Johnson, last spoke to her. An autopsy showed she died of “sharp-force” trauma to her neck.

Stow police are investigating the case, but no arrests have been made.

Jennifer Farmer, a nurse from Independence, said her daughter and Michelle Johnson were friends since childhood. Last month, the two women took a trip to Chicago.

Johnson, she said, moved often, living for a time in Northeast Ohio as well as Florida and West Virginia. She worked in a local restaurant, but hoped to one day go to a police academy and train for a career in law enforcement.

“Michelle was a sweet, loving girl,” Farmer said. “I can’t comprehend what could have happened to make someone so upset. She was just so sweet.”

Farmer has started a fundraiser in Johnson’s name to help defray funeral expenses. More than $3,300 had been donated through Tuesday afternoon.

Donations can be made at: www.gofundme.com/7kwjao .

Stow police Chief Louis Dierker made no announcements Tuesday on the progress of the investigation. Johnson’s body was found by an officer who was searching her Maplepark Drive residence in response to Dianna Johnson’s request.

Michelle Johnson’s body was found in the backyard shed partially covered with blankets. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting.

Dianna Johnson declined to speak about her daughter’s death when reached by phone Tuesday. She vowed, however, that the killer will be caught. She would not elaborate.

Meanwhile, Michelle Johnson’s friends have taken to social media sites in an effort to memorialize her short life.

“We’ve seen people die, drug abuse is rampant and friends have OD’d and been killed in crashes, but this is a senseless murder,” Farmer said. “We’ve never known anyone murdered. It’s hard to even say the word. It’s something I can’t even comprehend that this happened to Michelle.”


By Phil Trexler - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)

©2014 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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