Sheriff: Timothy Johnson apparently stealing copper at time of death in motel


The body located in the former Howard Johnson’s motel on North Expressway has been positively identified as that of Timothy Allen Johnson.

According to a press release issued by Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix, Johnson’s body was lodged in a wall in a plumbing chase between two rooms in the abandoned motel.

Authorities say it is believed Johnson was committing copper theft at the time of his death.

“All indications are that Johnson was in the wall stripping copper from plumbing when he died. Investigators found cutting tools, flashlights, and copper piping that had been cut for removal. An autopsy performed by the GBI Crime Lab showed that there was no trauma to Johnson’s body and foul play is not involved. The way that his body was positioned in the wall and evidence recovered around him indicates that he was not dumped there as has been rumored. It will be months before results of toxicology tests are available that may shed more light on the cause of his death,”

Dix also addressed previous searches conducted at that location by SCSO investigators and K9s.

“The hotel was searched by investigators from the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office twice and Griffin Police Department and Spalding Sheriff’s Investigators combined an additional time during the period that Johnson was missing. Two of those times the searches were conducted with the use of cadaver dogs. Each of these searches, room to room, the office areas, and anywhere else we could access, including the searches with cadaver dogs, yielded no results. Even the rooms that we were specifically asked to search yielded no results. The location where Timothy Johnson’s body was found was in an area that was closed off, low to the ground, and dark,” Dix said. “The area could not be accessed unless you cut into the wall in just the right place, and to recover his body, we had to remove an entire section of wall from one area. We met with Timothy Johnson’s mother and other family members at the hotel this morning and at their request, showed them the area and walked them through the events that led up to the discovery of the body.”

Dix confirmed the individual who located Johnson’s body will not receive the reward that had been offered for information in the missing person case.

“It appears that the person who located Johnson’s body was there to strip copper from the building as well when he stumbled upon the body. We have spoken to him, questioned him at length, and have determined that he had nothing to do with Johnson’s death. Due to the discovery being made during the attempt to commit a crime he will not receive the reward that was offered,” he said.


  1. Martin L. Sullivan says:

    My goodness what can I say? Sounds like Santa Claus getting stuck. How low can you get for a reward?

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