Evidence details murder charge in missing woman case

By Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter, jpiggott@wjxt.com
Published On: Oct 11 2012 04:15:00 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 11 2012 11:25:00 PM EDT

The State Attorney's Office has releases evidence in the murder case of a woman whose body has not been found nearly four years after her disappearance.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -

Oct. 29, 2010, is when Rebecca Ware was last seen alive. Her car was found in a Publix parking lot in St. Augustine.

For two years, her boyfriend, Timothy Johnson (pictured below), has been in jail, charged with second-degree murder in Ware's death, even though her body has yet to be found.

On Monday, the State Attorney's Office released evidence in the case that shows why Johnson was arrested and charged with murder.

Among the nearly 50 DVDs and hundreds of pages of documents are cellphone records and interviews with people showing Johnson may have been around Ware when she was last seen.

IMAGES: Evidence photos in Rebecca Ware homicide case

Surveillance video shows Johnson's SUV in the parking lot where Ware's cars was found. Neighbors say the two had a huge fight the night she was last scene.

Timothy Johnson

There are various interviews and documents on file, but no interviews or statements by Johnson that were made public. There are interviews with his friends and roommates and even his sister that question his actions nearly four years ago.

"That girl was scared and I knew she was scared and I was scared for her," said Johnson's sister, Marilynn.  "Her eyes were bloodshot red from where had choked her and when i felt her throat, I could feel the hand marks in her throat where he I guess had choked her out. I mean I could feel it and the pressure was so much that it just burst the blood vessel in her eyes."

Marilynn Johnson told police that 34-year-old, Ware had stayed with her after Timothy Johnson had thrown a phone at her head.

"I wanted to take her to the hospital but she didn't want to go to the hospital because she didn't' want to get Tim in trouble. So excuse my language, but I said: 'The hell with him! You need stitches in your head.' She said 'no, no' and I patched her head up. I was trying to help her because I felt bad for her," said Johnson.

One of Johnson's friends in Palatka told police when Ware was first reported missing that Johnson burned a pile of clothes he removed from his car.

"He came. I had the fire going on today," Clayton Hughes told detectives. "'Man, it's cold in here. I got some wood. I want to burn stuff up in here and make the fire better.' OK, he is taking some clothes, some different clothes. These are no good, some rags or whatever, and threw them in the fire whatever."

"Where did he get those from?" a detective asked.

"Out of the seat," Hughes said.

Investigators said they have statements from neighbors who say Ware and Johnson were arguing in front of her house on the evening of Oct. 29, 2010, when she was last seen.

Johnson's sister told deputies that Ware and Johnson had a fight and Ware was bleeding from her head after Johnson threw a phone at her.

"I wanted to take her to the hospital," Johnson's sister told detectives. "She didn't want to go to the hospital because she didn't want to get Tim in trouble. I said, 'The hell with him.' You need stitches in your head.' She said, 'No, no,' and I patched her head up. I was trying to help her because I felt bad for her."

Among the discovery materials is an interview with Johnson's old girlfriend, who told police the two had similar fights.

Melissa Lewis said during one argument, Johnson threatened to kill her and take her to Rodman Dam and throw her in the water. She also remembers Johnson telling her the last thing she will see are the alligators.

Investigators also have blood evidence from Ware's home, confirmed to belong to Ware and Johnson. Cellphone records place Johnson in St. Augustine and not Palatka, where he said he was at the time of Ware's disappearance.

There is also surveillance video of what detectives believe is Johnson's car driving in the parking lot where Ware's car was found. Her purse and other belongings were still in this car, making them believe she was not robbed or abducted.

Johnson is set for a court appearance on June 5, but no trial date is set.

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