PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Court documents show Portage police found Gary and Laura Johnson’s bodies buried in the woods by going through the GPS data from Laura Johnson’s SUV.
Nicholas Johnson, 27, is charged with murdering his parents on Feb. 3. Police discovered the crime scene at their house nearly a week later and their bodies on Feb. 12.
Officers went to the Johnsons’ home on Romence Road near Oakland Drive on Feb. 9 after Gary Johnson’s boss called police, worried because he hadn’t been logging in for work in a few days.
Probable cause documents, which lay out some of the evidence in the case, say officers found a large stain on the living room carpet, blood spatter around the home and bloody linens and couch cushions in the laundry machine. The couch was missing; Nick Johnson later admitted to cutting it up and removing it.
The document says a lot of blood was found in in Gary Johnson’s car in the garage, as was a 9 mm bullet casing.
Police pinged Laura Johnson’s cellphone to Mallard Cove Apartments in Portage. There, they found her SUV, which had blood in it.
They also found Nick Johnson, a 9 mm gun he had recently bought, his parents’ driver’s licenses and credit cards in their names, one of his mother’s prescriptions and two cellphones, one of which was broken.
On the phone that wasn’t broken, which was Laura Johnson’s, police found recent internet searches for whether Ring home doorbell cameras continue recording after their base has been removed and how to transfer money out of a trust.
Nick Johnson, the Johnsons’ only child, is also the sole beneficiary of their trust, the probable cause document says.
Police say they used the SUV’s GPS data to discover it had been driven to the Gourdneck State Game Area, about three miles from the Johnsons’ home. When police went there, they found evidence of recent digging. The next day, they recovered the Johnsons’ bodies from a shallow grave.
Both had been shot in the head with a 9 mm.
As he was formally charged last week with murder and weapons charges in his parents’ deaths, Nick Johnson’s attorney said he maintains his innocence. He remains behind bars in Kalamazoo County without bond.
He is also considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Bonifacio Pena, 17, originally of Gobles. Police say their investigation found Johnson was the last person seen with Pena before he vanished in May 2018.