No new leads on missing person from aerial search

Justin Johnson

Justin Johnson

Although the official search for Justin Johnson has been suspended, a helicopter was brought into the area today to survey the area from the air.

Judge Executive Todd Ruckel said the 30-minute aerial search took place during a break in the weather shortly after 3:00 p.m.

He said the search did not produce any new leads and nothing was spotted from the air that searchers on the ground hadn’t already seen.

Ruckel said Sheriff Johnny Bivens is continuing to follow leads and is expanding his investigation into Johnson’s disappearance.

Sheriff Johnny Bivens, standing at left, talks with volunteers on horseback near the location where Justin Johnson's abandoned truck was found. - Dennis Brown Photo

Sheriff Johnny Bivens, standing at left, talks with volunteers on horseback near the location where Justin Johnson’s abandoned truck was found. – Dennis Brown Photo

Family members have said they are going to search along Kinniconick Creek near the mouth of Montgomery Creek, about three miles from where Johnson’s abandoned pick-up was found early Friday. Volunteers on horseback will also be assisting with that search along the creek.

The official search will be resumed if any new information is uncovered.

Johnson’s red Chevrolet S-10 pick-up was found on Lower Twin Branch off McDowell Creek Road, south of Garrison, about 7:30 a.m. Friday.

Local authorities were contacted Friday by concerned family members after Johnson failed to return home when he said he would on Thursday night.

Search dog teams scoured the immediate area Saturday and Sunday. K-9 search teams returned to the scene on Monday and expanded the search area utilizing information collected from Johnson’s cell phone records.

Volunteers also searched the area on foot and on horseback but were unable to collect any information that indicated Johnson had been there.

Bivens and his department are continuing to follow-up several leads and are utilizing telephone record data to identify anyone who has had any contact with Johnson in the days leading up to his disappearance.

“We will continue to beat the bushes to find out what happened to Mr. Johnson,” Bivens said. “I am committed to getting the answer and closing this case as soon as possible.”

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Justin’s family,” Ruckel said. “This is a very difficult time.”

Johnson is 28-years-old, 6’2″ tall, 145 pounds with a slender build. He has short brown hair and hadn’t shaved for a few days.

He was last seen wearing a black tee-shirt, light blue jeans, dark brown work boots, a camo cap and had a black jacket with him.

Anyone who may have any information that may be helpful in determining what may have occurred is urged to call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 606-796-2912.

Bivens said callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated confidentially.

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