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ODOR LEADS TO DECOMPOSED BODY IN BOX – TOO EARLY TO IDENTIFY RACE, GENDER OF FIND IN AURORA, COPS SAY

Rocky Mountain News (CO) – Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Author/Byline: Clayton Woullard , Rocky Mountain News
Edition: Final
Section: News
Page: 6A
A decomposed body was found Tuesday night in Aurora by a man who was moving boxes.

The body was found at 1325 Lansing St. by a man relatives identified as Richard Johnson, who called police when he discovered the body in his backyard as he moved boxes for a friend.

Aurora police spokesman Marcus Dudley said police were not immediately able to determine the gender or race of the body or how long the person had been dead because it was so decomposed.

Pat Johnson, who lives next door, said her brother-in-law Richard Johnson, 60, discovered the body at about 6:45 p.m., when he smelled a foul odor coming from one of the containers he was moving into a shed in his backyard.

She said Richard Johnson yelled next door to tell his brother Dennis Johnson that he thought he had found a human body in one of the containers.

Pat Johnson said that when she arrived home shortly after the discovery, she looked into the container and saw a long bone, possibly a femur, and a toe. She said the body looked as though it was mummified and that its skin was brown.

“I thought it was some dead cats at first,” she said.

She said she could not identify the gender of the body, but that her husband, Dennis, believed it was a woman because he saw a necklace or bracelet with the body. He also described it as having blonde hair.

Neither Dennis Johnson nor Richard Johnson were available for comment Tuesday night.

Pat Johnson said the body had been wrapped in a brown comforter and put in a plastic container no larger than 3 feet long and 2 to 3 feet tall.

She said the boxes that were being moved originally belonged to a man she knew as “JD,” who lived with Richard Johnson about a year and a half ago, until he allegedly stole Richard’s mother’s car and and forged checks on her account. She said JD is in prison.

The container with the body had been on Richard Johnson’s backyard patio since JD moved in about two years ago, Pat Johnson said. She said her brother-in-law told her he believed the body might be that of a woman JD had once lived with.

JD reportedly moved into Richard Johnson’s home about two years ago after telling him that the woman he had planned to live with took off with their money and that he needed a place to stay.

Pat Johnson said her brother-in-law thought it was possible JD made up the story and that the dead body is that of the woman.

Pat Johnson described JD as a kind and helpful man in his late 30s or early 40s. She said he didn’t seem to have any family or friends of his own.

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