DeANNA LYNN JOHNSON - 14 yo (1982) - Vacaville CA

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DeANNA LYNN JOHNSON - 14 yo (1982) - Vacaville CA

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:29 am

De Anna Lynn Johnson, 14, left her Royal Oaks Drive home in Vacaville at
6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15 to attend a party in her neighborhood, only
seven houses from her home. Her 17-year-old brother also attended the party.
When she did not return home by her 9:30 p.m. curfew, her worried mother telephoned police.

The next day, two railroad workers discovered her badly bludgeoned,
fully-clothed body near the railroad tracks in a field off Elmira Road
-- a site visible from her family home.

At the time, De Anna was a ninth grade student at then Will C. Wood
Junior High School. She would have graduated with the Vacaville High School Class of 1986.

The class graduated without her and just marked its 25-year reunion.
Now, 29 years after being murdered, she is a graduate.

Vacaville High School principal Ed Santopadre recently presented her
uncle, Ed Auld of Walnut Creek, with her high school diploma at a
five-class reunion (1984, ’85, ’86, ’87 and ’88) at the Pippo Ranch on Cantelowe Road.

Mr. Santopadre told the crowd that the worst thing about being principal is “to lose a student.”

Gratefully accepting the diploma, Mr. Auld said the presentation “gives
us, her family, a very warm feeling that she has not been forgotten.”

The diploma reads: “This certifies that De Anna Lynn Johnson has
satisfactorily completed a four year course of study at Vacaville High
School and is therefore awarded this diploma.”

Kevin Mauser, a member of the Vaca High Class of 1986 who attended the
reunion, says he was pleased to see her remembered. “She was in my
English class when we were ninth graders at Will C. Wood Junior High
School, which later became Will C. Wood High School,” he says. “I didn’t
know her that well. She was the cute girl who sat in the corner.”

“I remember the day her seat became empty,” he says.

Mr. Mauser recalled riding the school bus and seeing “a police
presence” along Elmira Road, the morning her body was found. “We passed
right by there on our way to school,” he says, adding, “school started at 8:30.”

Mr. Mauser, who later married and raised four daughters, says he
worried about his own girls when they became teen-agers “because of what
happened to De Anna.”

“I’ve never understood all that DNA technology, and why there were no arrests and convictions,” he says.

Will C. Wood football player Tony Wilson, then 16, was best friends
with De Anna’s brother, Ron, and considered De Anna “my little sister.”

“She lived on the north corner of Royal Oaks Drive and I lived on the
south corner,” he says. “De Anna was that person everyone wishes was a sister or friend.

“She was a very, very sweet girl who did not have any enemies. None.
She never spoke ill of anyone. She was just an amazing girl. She was
that sister, that friend, that classmate that everyone loved.”

“I miss her to this day,” he says. “When I see a rainbow, I think of De
Anna. She loved rainbows. I wish someone would come forward and give
her family some closure.”

After De Anna’s murder, “the whole town changed,” Mr. Wilson says.
“Everything changed. People were scared to go out, hang out, do the
things together we always did. And we wondered ‘Who’s next?’

To hurt a child — and she was a child — “is the worst crime on the
planet,” Mr. Wilson says. “I don’t know what would possess someone to
harm a sweet, innocent girl like her. She was 14, beautiful on the
inside and out. Everyone’s dream child.”

“People at the party know who killed her,” Mr. Wilson says. “What is
the fear that prevents people from going to the police? What are they scared of?”

The homicide case has never been solved, despite a $50,000 reward
offered by the State Attorney General’s office. The autopsy report
indicates she was strangled, beaten and bludgeoned about the head.

“It’s still an open and active case,” says Vacaville Police Sgt. Matt
Lydon, who has been working on the case for the past 10 years. He and
his partner Jeff Higby, both assigned to the homicide investigation in
2001 (Higby retired this year in July) interviewed hundreds of people,
some from throughout the nation.

“We continue to monitor people and their activities,” Mr. Lydon says.

The investigation, he says, initially focused on four persons of
interest, and now has narrowed to one. He says anyone with information
should call him at (707) 449-5236.

Vacaville Mayor Steve Hardy says he is “deeply saddened that the case
has not been solved to date. Until and if the case is solved, the
parents and many of De Anna’s dearest friends will always want a
solution to this awful crime.”

“I am surprised that a corroborating witness has not come forward after
more than 25 years that would allow law enforcement to solve this
case,” Mr. Hardy says. “I recall that there were one or two suspects
that really stood out, and yet law enforcement could not bring the
killer or killers to justice. DNA evidence has come to be so much more
dependable with latest scientific evaluation of evidence. I am most
hopeful that a team of officers will be able to solve this as a cold case.”

Ed Auld remembers De Anna Lynn Johnson as a little girl. “De Anna and
my daughter were first cousins and about the same age and used to run
around in the backyard together,” he says. “They used to go to their
grandmother’s house — my mother’s house -- in Truckee in the winter and
play in the snow. Being little girls, they liked to dress the same.
Their grandmother used to make clothes for them.”

De Anna’s birthday (May 24) and the anniversary of her death are
difficult for the family, he says. “We don’t have the option of forgetting.”

Her friends and family described her as a bright, kind and generous
girl who worshipped at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, played baseball,
loved the color purple, enjoyed writing poetry, and loved little
children — she would babysit for free. She hated injustice and any form
of suffering. Her ambition: to become a social worker to help troubled teens.

In words read at her memorial last year at St. Mary’s Church, her
mother, Ginger Dimple, said, “she loved little kids and puppies. She
loved adventure, picnics, outdoors, skiing, camping, swimming, baseball
and eating pizza. She liked to make doughnut holes, cakes and cookies.”
Like a typical 14-year-old, De Anna “talked endlessly on the phone,
enjoyed eating out, loved to shop for clothes, and saved all her birthday cards.”

“We all miss her and still would like to know why someone chose to take
her from us,” Ms. Dimpel wrote. “We have tried to seek justice, but to
no avail. The person or persons responsible are no more than lowly
cowards who hide behind the silence of a little girl taken so tragically
from us. We have faith though, that they will one day be judged by the
highest power and justice will prevail.”

An estimated 30 to 35 pre-teens, teens and young adults attended the
party. Many continue to live in Vacaville. Other have moved to Dixon,
Oroville, Biggs, Stockton, Bakersfield and out of state, sources says.

At age 14, De Anna stood five-feet, two inches tall, weighed about 100
pounds, and had shoulder-length blond hair and hazel eyes. Today she would have been 43.

“I’m sure that today, she would have looked like her classmates who attended the reunion,” Mr. Auld says.

Her childhood friend, Mary Borchers of Vacaville, who shared a school
locker and overnighters with De Anna, remembers that “we did each
other’s hair, played dress-up, swam in the pool and watched movies —
typical things that 12 to 14-year-old girls do.”

The case is fraught with faded memories, wild theories, vicious rumors,
false assumptions, faulty recollections and downright lies that have
played out on the Internet, sources says. Some who attended the party or
worked on the case are deceased.

Over the last 29 years, the De Anna Johnson homicide case has generated
an intensive and integrated law enforcement investigation, pleas to the
district attorney’s office and State Attorney General’s Office,
widespread news coverage and display ads, reward posters on city buses
and downtown streets, letters to the news media, letters to nationally
syndicated TV shows, two grand jury investigations, an exhumation of the
body, hundreds of interviews, death threats, an arrest (murder charges
were later dismissed), a lawsuit against the city from the suspect and
his family, psychic readings from California and Texas, a Facebook page,
a Vacaville City Council proclamation, and more recently, memorials on
the anniversaries of her birthday and death, both coordinated by Ms. Borchers.

“I’m keeping De Anna’s memory alive,” Ms. Borchers says. “Recently I
was told that I am ticking off a lot of people by what I’m doing. No
matter who this may bother or upset, I will continue this fight for De
Anna and her family. I want justice and De Anna’s family deserves it.”

Yet the case, which former Vacaville Police Detective Joe Munoz (now
retired), described as the “most brutal crime” he’d ever seen, remains
unsolved and unprosecuted.

But today, De Anna Lynn Johnson -- who wore her mother’s high school
graduation ring to the neighborhood party she attended that fateful
night on Nov. 15, 1982 -- is a graduate of Vacaville High School, Class of 1986.

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Thank you

Post by deannasfriend on Thu May 17, 2012 12:57 am

Hi Tom, my name is Mary Borchers. I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for posting De Anna's story, I greatly appreciate it. Justice will prevail soon.

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Re: DeANNA LYNN JOHNSON - 14 yo (1982) - Vacaville CA

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Thu May 17, 2012 5:32 am

deannasfriend wrote:Hi Tom, my name is Mary Borchers. I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for posting De Anna's story, I greatly appreciate it. Justice will prevail soon.
---Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping in and seeing us. You and Dee were very close I know. All this at a time when you shared so many great memories. I have often wondered what happened. I hope somebody is found responsible, even after all this time.
From what I can tell, Vacaville is mid-sized suburban area with residency in the 100K mark and also has some expensive homes.
I am seeing mid-prices in the $325,000 and up category. My point is...umm, what was it again? Oh yeah...
It's not like some countryside village with under 5K people who are all up in everybody's biz.
Still, somebody knows something and somebody(s) has/have gotten away with murder for way too long.

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Re: DeANNA LYNN JOHNSON - 14 yo (1982) - Vacaville CA

Post by mermaid55 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:09 pm

Butte man suspected in 1982 Vacaville slaying

POSTED: 08/03/2013 08:20:23 AM PDT

For the first time publicly, Vacaville police are identifying the man they believe is responsible for killing Vacaville teen DeAnna Lynn Johnson more than 30 years ago.
Marvin Ray Markle has long been known as a person of interest in the brutal 1982 killing of Johnson, 14 at the time, who attended a party but never made it home, Vacaville police Lt. Matt Lydon said Friday.

Since the early 2000s, Vacaville investigators have been working closely with Butte County authorities, who began their own investigation into the killing of Biggs resident Shirley Pratt in 2001. The investigation led to the July 18 arrest of Markle, who lives in Biggs.

"This is not new because of Butte County's case," Lydon said, referring to Markle, 47, being named as a suspect in the Johnson slaying.

"He's been a suspect all along."
What's new is the public confirmation of what police have suspected since Johnson's body was found within walking distance of her Vacaville home in 1982.

Although the passage of time brings potential for more advanced technology in evidence analysis, which keeps investigators ever hopeful, it also brings its share of challenges to solving the case.

"As the case gets older, people's recollections of what happened and their previous statements" tend to change, Lydon said. "It's caused a stir, which is a good thing," he added of the Butte County Sheriff's Office's arrest of Markle, who has a history filled with outbursts and domestic violence.

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