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Police searching for missing couple find 2 bodies in woods near Kalamazoo

Associated Press

Portage — Authorities searching for a missing couple near Kalamazoo found two bodies Friday in a wooded area about three miles from their home.

The bodies were believed to be Gary and Laura Johnson, although identities hadn’t been confirmed, said Portage Public Safety Director Nick Armold.

Portage police investigate a missing persons case in Portage, Mich. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.

Experts from Western Michigan University were involved in a dig at Gourdneck State Game Area in Portage. Dogs led police to ground that had been disturbed.

“As sad as this is, this is the result we thought we were going to get,” Armold said before the bodies were discovered.

The Johnsons were missing for days. Police entered their Portage home Tuesday, after Gary’s employer said he had not logged on for work, and found signs of violence, Armold said.

The couple’s 27-year-old son was arrested on other charges after being found in a storage unit at an apartment building. A car belonging to his parents was nearby. Armold declined to say what the younger man told investigators.

Laura Johnson, 65, got a personal protection order against their estranged son in 2018, saying he needed mental health care. She said he assaulted them, damaged property and refused to leave their home, WWMT-TV reported.

“We are done with allowing him to keep destroying our house and property,” Laura Johnson said.