For about a year, a Baltimore woman allegedly drove a car with a gruesome secret: the dead body of her 7-year-old niece stashed in a suitcase in the trunk. Then in May she allegedly cracked the trunk’s lid to dump the body of her 5-year-old nephew beside it.
It wasn’t until months later that police discovered the decomposing bodies of siblings Joshlyn Marie James Johnson and Larry Darnell O’Neal.
Baltimore County Police said in a statement Thursday night that they were grieving over the “unspeakable deaths” after discovering the kids’ bodies when they pulled 33-year-old Nicole Johnson over in a traffic stop late Wednesday.
Police say the brother and sister, weighing just 21 and 18 pounds respectively, were likely malnourished before their death, WBAL reported. Their fragile bodies were brought to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine a cause of death. Johnson was charged Friday in connection with neglect and abuse that caused the deaths.
“This truly was a devastating incident,” Chief Melissa Hyatt said on Friday afternoon, adding that it shocked the community and had a significant impact on the county’s patrol officers, forensic technicians, and detectives.
In charging documents obtained by local outlets, police allege Johnson told detectives that her sister, Dachelle Johnson, had asked her to look after the kids in 2019 when she was unable to care for them.
The documents allege Johnson said she had grown angry with Joshlyn more than a year ago, hitting her niece several times, resulting in the girl hitting her head. Johnson allegedly told police she put her niece’s body in a suitcase in her car in May 2020, where it has remained ever since.
She allegedly told police that Larry’s body was put in a bag alongside Joshlyn’s a year later, without providing details about how or when he died.
Johnson was charged with multiple counts of neglect and child abuse charges, as well as failing to report the deaths to authorities and unauthorized disposal of their bodies.
According to a probable cause statement obtained by the Baltimore Sun, Johnson was initially issued a citation to appear in court after cops noticed unauthorized tags and registration on her car, and found she had been driving without a license.
The car would be towed, an officer allegedly told Johnson.
It was then, the Sun reported, that Johnson told the officer: “It don’t matter, I won’t be here in five days.”
“Y’all going to see me on the news making my big debut,” she allegedly added.
The officer smelled the decomposing bodies while preparing the car to be towed, according to police documents. Johnson attempted to flee the scene when the officer opened the trunk and uncovered the first body in a suitcase before discovering a second in a plastic bag, the documents said. Johnson was then taken into custody.
One neighbor, Dani Medley, told WBAL that she hadn’t sensed anything was off.
“They always seemed happy. When the young lady dropped them off, they never seemed like something was wrong. They always seemed like happy kids with a lot of energy,” Medley said. “For someone who has been taking care of children for 20 some years, I can’t fathom, I couldn’t fathom.”
Police documents say Dachelle had repeatedly tried to reach her sister after leaving her son and daughter in their aunt’s care in 2019, but had been unsuccessful in finding them until she was told of their deaths, the Sun reported.
Baltimore police are still combing through the details of the case to determine what caused the kids to end up in their aunt’s trunk.
“Due to the nature of this case, it will take time to determine the exact circumstances that led to the children’s deaths,” Baltimore law enforcement said on Friday.
This is what the world is coming to. BLM means nothing. Children are treated like trash buy these welfare queens an bums. Put her in the trunk an leave her to rot. Baltimore is a rat hole run by worthless democat clowns.
I said I would stop reading the news.. It is so depressing!! Just the sheer number of gruesome murders every day!! I have read story after story without end and you realize that tens of stories and to read them all there just not enough time in a day. By the time you finish on story 2 more have been added and in a matter of hours you’re so far behind. I mean children are beheaded and butchered at a furious pace. I used to think that when someone kills a child “The Most High” shields them form the pain and they dont feel it!! I still believe that, cause He’s God all by himself and he can do anything but fail.THERE ARE SOOOOO MANY!! I read so many one time that I began to weep openly and without control!! The sin of murder is forgivable and we who know the Word says that all sin is the same, and it says that God forgives the murderer. It also says that God chastens the ones He loves, and even though He forgives the murderer that doesn’t mean that the murderer won’t fry.