Coroner: Alex Johnson’s Body Found

Reported by: Melanie Kendall
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Updated: 1/26 12:21 am

The Fayette County Coroner confirms investigators have found the body of Alex Johnson.

Crews spent Friday searching the Kentucky River near Clay’s Ferry.

Friday the coroner would only say evidence was recovered from the Kentucky River.

Saturday he said that evidence was a barrel with a small hole he could look through.  He said he thought he saw human remains but because of the bad weather, he didn’t want to open the barrel and risk loosing evidence.

Saturday afternoon at the medical examiner’s office, the coroner said he opened the barrel and found Alex Johnson’s body.

“People are cruel,” said Gary Ginn, Fayette County Coroner, “This is the result of somebody being very cruel,”

More than a month since Alex Johnson went missing; Ginn said his body was found in a sealed, 55-gallon barrel in the Kentucky River.

The barrel was four feet underwater and about 15 feet offshore.  Saturday, thumbprints confirmed Alex Johnson’s remains were inside.

“There were injuries to his body from some type of weapon or some type of means to hit someone with,” said Ginn.

Johnson was killed after several blows to his head according to the coroner who also said the body had likely been in the barrel and in the river for about a month.

“The person or persons that took his life did put him in the barrel and put the barrel in the river,” said Ginn.  “We think that happened fairly close to the time of his death.”

The coroner confirmed the barrel was the evidence search crews were looking for Friday as they checked the Kentucky River near Riptides Restaurant.

Police said Johnson was on the phone with his girlfriend the night of December 20th when he heard a knock at the door.  He hung up the phone and that’s the last time anyone heard from Johnson according to police.

Two people have been arrested.  Timothy balled is charged with kidnapping and tampering with evidence.  Robert Taylor was arrested near the Mexican border.  He’s charged with tampering with evidence, kidnapping and murdering Alex Johnson.

“Always a little bit of a rainbow just simply because the fire department was able to find the remains so the family will be able to have those remains to be able to bury,” said Ginn.

Still no word from police on why Alex Johnson was killed but the coroner said he was found fully clothed and there was also money in the barrel.

Funeral arraignments will be held in Bowling Green.

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