According to Sheriff Darrell Dix on February 11, 2018, at approximately 3:00 p.m., an unnamed person committing a theft at the former Howard Johnson property, located at 1690 North Expressway, discovered a possible body inside an interior wall. The unnamed person left the scene and notified the Spalding County 911 system of his discovery approximately 3 hours later.
LT Joe Hudson, of the Griffin Police Department, responded to the scene and noted a foul odor coming from one of the rooms at the building. Lt. Hudson forced entry into the abandoned property and discovered a body in between the interior walls in the plumbing access area. Lt. Hudson notified Griffin Fire and due to his knowledge of a previously filed missing person report involving Timothy Johnson, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office was contacted.
Sheriff Darrell Dix, lead Investigator Ray Hightower, Coroner Sonny Foster along with other investigators and crime scene personnel arrived at the scene.
Entry was made to the area where the body was located and identification documents found on the remains indicated Timothy Johnson.
The body was extricated by personnel from the Griffin Fire Department with the assistance of Spalding Sheriff’s crime scene investigators. The body was transported to the GBI Crime lab for autopsy and positive identification. No foul play is suspected at this time but investigators are awaiting results from the autopsy. The autopsy is scheduled for early Tuesday morning.
Sheriff Dix, Coroner Foster and Investigator Hightower met with the mother of Timothy Johnson and discussed with her the discovery of the body.
Mr. Johnson was last seen on December 6, 2017 and was reported missing on December 11, 2017. His truck was located in an adjacent parking lot on December 7, 2017 by Griffin Police.
Spalding investigators searched the property on three occasions, and cadaver K-9’s searched the area twice earlier in the investigation.
Sheriff Dix would like to thank the Griffin Police and Fire Department for their assistance. According to Sheriff Dix “Griffin P.D. and Griffin firefighters provided valuable assistance in locating the remains. We appreciate their assistance with the investigation.”