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Adams updates Donna Johnson cold case probe

The cold case investigation into the 1984 torture murder of Donna Ogletree Johnson is moving at a deliberate pace but it is steadily moving, district attorney Jonathan Adams reported last week. Last August, Adams appointed tapped retired FBI agent Jalaine Ward to head up the investigation and assigned K.B. Ayer of his staff to assist. ’We are excited about the progress our team has made over the past few months. Our office is working closely with the Lamar County sheriff’s office and the Region 6 GBI office. These efforts have led to many meetings with several witnesses and specific reexamination of certain evidence collected at the time of the crime,’ Adams said. Adams was tight-lipped on the subject of specific evidence. ‘We all want to protect the progress that has been made and ensure we don’t tip our hand to any potential suspects by being specific about who we are looking at or the results of the examination of the evidence,’ Adams added. Johnson’s car was found at a dumpster site at the corner of Piedmont and The Rock roads about 4:30 p.m. on a stormy day. Her two small dogs were in the vehicle. Her body was found some four hours later on an old logging road. She had been gagged with her own bra and panties. Her blue jeans had been cut and pulled down to thigh level. She was hogtied, sexually violated with a metal rod, run over by a vehicle and finally dispatched with three blows to the head from a roofing hatchet or similar tool. Johnson lived in Pike County. Her car and body were found in Lamar County. Her family has waited nearly 34 years for justice to be served. ’We appreciate the support of Donna’s family and the entire community. I am absolutely impressed with the commitment of our local law enforcement and the dedication they are showing in looking at every detail of this cold case. They are all working hard to ensure we provide Donna with the justice she deserves,’ Adams continued. Very little happens quickly at the state crime lab and this case is no different so patience is required. ’Many of the new tests will take several months at the crime lab which means we don’t expect a quick resolution to this. I appreciate everyone’s assistance and patience. We will do our best to bring this case to trial,’ Adams concluded.

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