Crime lab working to identify body found in well

SHERIDAN — A positive identification is still pending on human remains found in a well Monday in the northeastern part of Grant County.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Major Lafayette Woods Jr. said Wednesday that they were waiting on results from the State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock, but that a rush had been put on the case.

Daniel Ash Johnson, 28, was reported missing Aug. 11, five days after he was last seen by family at 1301 Justins Lane near the Jefferson community — not far from where the remains were found Monday.

Grant County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Robbie Bird said that about 12:30 p.m. Monday he was called to an area off Grant 75 in reference to what was believed to be a body being found in a well. Bird said the discovery was originally made by the property owner and recovered by local authorities and rescue members.

“The location is in the immediate area of a known missing person from Jefferson County and we are exploring that possibility,” Bird said.

Woods said Johnson’s ex-wife Mary Johnson reported him missing and a search for Johnson was initiated the same day. That search included both air and ground units from the sheriff’s department who searched heavily wooded areas surrounding Justins Lane, Stagecoach Road and Mail Route Road. The search was called off Aug. 15.

Woods said Jefferson County authorities are working with investigators from Grant County on the case.

The state medical examiner’s office is also working to determine cause of death.

The investigation is ongoing.

Ray King and Millie McClain contributed to this report.