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Police: Nicholas Johnson took parents' phone, made several trips to area where bodies were buried

Nicholas Gary Laura Johnson.png
Posted at 12:35 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 17:46:21-05

PORTAGE, Mich. — Police say they found Nicholas Johnson with his parents' cell phones and a gun that likely fired the bullets that killed Gary and Laura Johnson.

READ: Nicholas Johnson charged in parents' murders

Court documents obtained by FOX 17 through a Freedom of Information Act request show officers used a GPS signal from Laura Johnson's phone to track down Nicholas at an apartment complex on Bluebird Court in Portage.

According to the report, officers from Portage Public Safety went to the Johnson's home on Romence Road after Gary's employer requested a welfare check on February 9. Gary had not reported for work over a period of several days. The last time he was known to be alive was on February 3, when he sent an email just after 5 p.m.

RELATED: Johnsons remembered as kind and loving

Those officers found freshly dug earth in the backyard, and footprints leading to the dirt from the house. They broke into the home, finding blood splattered on the walls and ceiling along with larger stains in the living room carpet. The scene also pointed to a missing couch.

Investigators later found out Laura's vehicle was not at the home, and the couple's cell phones were missing. Using data from the phone provider, police went to Mallard Cove Apartments, found Laura's SUV, and spotted Nicholas watching them from a building entrance.

Police say Nicholas went back into the building, and officers pursued him. They found him in the basement, inside a storage unit with several items. Officers say Johnson had his parents' drivers licenses, credit cards, prescription medication, and cell phones. There was also a 9mm handgun in the room.

One of the phones had been broken in half, but the other, which officers determined belonged to Laura, had been used for a number of internet searches from the day the Johnsons went missing. Police say the searches included how to transfer money from a trust, whether Ring devices could record video after the base unit was removed, and how much prescription medications are worth.

Investigators claim Nicholas is the sole beneficiary listed in Gary and Laura's estate.

Officers say Nicholas admitted he recently bought the handgun. A spent 9mm casing was located in Gary's vehicle, along with a large amount of blood.

GPS data from Laura's vehicle showed it was driven several times between the Johnson's home and the State Game Area where the Johnson's bodies were found.

Autopsies of the Johnsons shows they both died from wounds to the head, with evidence pointing to the use of a 9mm handgun.

Nicholas is charged with murder in the case. He remains behind bars as the legal proceedings continue.

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