View Full Version : Precious Doe Identified After Four Years

05-05-2005, 11:19 AM
In 2001 here in Kansas City the decapitated body of a female child between the ages of 3 and 6 was found dumped in a vacant lot in a "bad" part of town. For four years the community - particularly the local African-American community and the neighborhoods surrounding the area where Precious Doe (the name community activists gave the girl) was found - have searched and sought the identity of this poor child. The community buried her in loving fashion and has literally adopted her as their own. The vacant lot where she was found has been turned into a memorial park and has been the site of many candlelight vigils Her story appeared on A&E and America's Most Wanted on several occasions - and the entire Kansas City community has been frustrated that she couldn't be identified. Who would murder a small, innocent child, decapitate her, dump her body in a vacant lot and disappear?

Over the weekend an old lead that previously led nowhere finally turned hot and with new information, Precious Doe has finally been identified and DNA tests are being done to conclusively determine her parents. At this point it's suspected they are the ones who murdered her and we are hopeful if this is the case, they'll be tried and brought to justice.

I'm very proud of the African-American community here in KC - they pulled together on this case since the very beginning and wouldn't accept "no" for an answer. They worked hand-in-hand with law enforcement and kept the case at the top of their agenda - determined that this small black child would not disappear into anonymity. They made people take notice and care - and I'm particularly happy for all of the people who worked so hard and poured their hearts into this effort - some are former coworkers I know personally. While I continue to be dumbfounded over the brutal murder of a precious child - I'm happy today that she finally has a name and her murderers will be punished.

Precious has a name: Erica Michelle Maria Green


The Kansas City Star

After four years of mystery, Precious Doe has a name — Erica Michelle Maria Green – and authorities were preparing to file charges against those responsible for her death.

Signaling that the long-unsolved case of the 3-year-old's death was finally nearing a close, Kansas City police, chasing down a lead in Oklahoma, released the girl's identity early this morning.

“Everyone over here is excited beyond words,” police spokesman Capt. Rich Lockhart said.

Jackson County Prosecutor Mike Sanders said he had been presented a case file in the homicide of Precious Doe and had called a press conference for this morning to announce charges in the case.

Lockhart could not elaborate on what led police to make a positive identification, other than to say that a call last week directing officers to an Oklahoma couple brought investigators to a break in the case that began with the discovery of the girl's decapitated body April 28, 2001.

“It is still very much a developing investigation.”

Police found her body near 59th Street and Kensington Avenue. Community members named her Precious Doe and mounted a passionate campaign to remember her, bury her and help find her killer.

But for the long years spent trying to unravel her story, the end came in a whirlwind this week with the re-emergence of an old lead.

It started Friday, when a Muskogee man called police and said he was related to Precious Doe. He said he knew her mother and also who killed her.

The same man called police last year, but police said he provided less detailed information at that time.

That lead took them nowhere, police said.

Working with Muskogee detectives, Kansas City investigators on Wednesday interviewed members of a Muskogee family.

Michelle Johnson, 30, and Harrell Johnson, 25, had been arrested Monday on unrelated charges.

Police said Wednesday that they planned to question the two people.

Kansas City police said they planned to seek a DNA sample from Michelle Johnson to determine whether she was Precious Doe's mother, but they had not taken the sample Wednesday. Tests comparing such a sample to Precious Doe's remains would take two to three days, police said.

Michelle Johnson served prison time for a larceny conviction, according to Oklahoma records. Harrell Johnson has been convicted of several charges, including assault with a dangerous weapon and possessing a sawed-off shotgun.

The tipster recently told a reporter for The Kansas City Star in a telephone interview that two people drove with the girl to Kansas City in the spring of 2001 to find jobs. He said the girl was killed in a Kansas City house and dumped outdoors.

The tipster also sent Kansas City community activist Alonzo Washington a photo showing nine persons, whom the tipster said were Michelle Johnson and her eight children.

The tipster drew an arrow to one young girl, whom he identified as Precious Doe.

Washington gave police a copy of the photo Tuesday. Police confirmed the young girl in the photo to be Erica Green.

The Precious Doe murder investigation was one of the city's biggest in recent memory. Police already have conducted at least 17 DNA tests.

To reach Christine Vendel, police reporter, call (816) 234-4438 or send e-mail to [email protected]

05-05-2005, 11:37 AM
I remember that case..that poor baby...hopefully she can rest now

Bonnie Strangeways
05-05-2005, 12:45 PM
What a wonderful display of community strength. Although the circumstances were unbelievably tragic, the consumate dedication of the public was astounding.

Thank you for sharing this.