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Portage PD name son of missing couple a ‘person of interest’ in their case

Posted at 8:12 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 20:48:03-05

PORTAGE, Mich. — The Portage Police Department named Nicholas Johnson a person of interest in the case of the disappearance of Gary and Laura Johnson, his parents.

READ MORE: Couple in their 60s missing from Kalamazoo-area home

“He was arrested on unrelated charges to this,” Public Safety Dir. Nicholas Armold said during a news conference at headquarters on Thursday. “Clearly anytime there’s a case like this you’re always looking at any family members. So, Nick Johnson was somebody that we were looking for to talk to about this case, and it just turned out that he had multiple outstanding warrants that he was arrested on.”

Johnson, 27, was arraigned Wednesday before Judge Richard Santoni at the Kalamazoo County Courthouse on weapons charges. Santoni mentioned that he suffered from mental health challenges and that he’d already been arrested in 2019 for illegally entering his parents' home.

Johnson was arrested after his mom’s car was found near his residence at Mallard Cove.

“There still isn’t any rational explanation at all as to why they’re not home or why we can’t find them,” Armold said. “We have all of their vehicles. We have their phones. We have Mr. Johnson missing from work.”

Police began their investigation when they did a courtesy check at the Johnson residence after they were told Gary hadn’t reported for work for days. Once they entered the home, police said they found “signs of violence” inside.

“There’s lots of evidence inside as we indicated yesterday that demonstrated to us that there was some type of violent activity,” Armold said. “Although we’re going to remain optimistic that we’re going to find the homeowners, the Johnsons, we’re leaning more towards this is going to be a homicide. Hopefully we’re wrong. But, that’s where we’re leading.”

READ MORE: Portage police believe missing couple is dead

At this time, Nicholas Johnson is not facing any charges in the case regarding the disappearance of his parents.

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