Elderly Woman Is Found Dead In Her Own Backyard

August 18, 2004--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CDT

CHELFORD--"I said what do you mean she left us I still didn't understand because I was still in such a state of shock.  She said that they killed her,"said Elsie Johnson's Family.

The home where Elsie Johnson spent over 5o years is now filled only with memories of a beloved mother and friend.

"I promise them on her grave, we will get them. I promise them that," said the family.

The last time Elsie Johnson was seen alive was around 10 0' Clock last Friday night.

Investigators say family and friends went to check on Johnson early Saturday morning when they noticed her car door open in the front yard.

Ed Guthrie is a criminal investigator with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department.

"They went to the front door, couldn't get into the front door. They went to the back door and that's when they found the back door wide open and signs of a struggle,"said Guthrie.

When relatives weren't able to find Elsie Johnson, that's when they called for help.

Police arrived and searched the area, and that's when they found Johnson's dead body in a rice field just feet from her home.

"There was some trauma to the body, but that is all I can tell you right now,"said Guthrie.

The family says Johnson would have never gone to sleep with the doors unlocked, which leads the family to believe Elsie Johnson knew the person or persons responsible for her death.

"I think things just escalated quicker than they wanted, I don't know if it was robbery,"the family said.

Now officials are looking to the community for help.

"If anybody saw anything between Friday and Saturday morning, anyone that doesn't belong in that area, just anything. We will follow it up,"said Guthrie.