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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of October 8 - 14, 2003


Double homicide investigation continues to await lab results

"There’s always more work than there are people. We certainly get things done as fast as we can, but we’re handling the whole state’s DNA load, for example."

RACHEL CUTLER, Idaho State Police Boise crime lab manager

Express Staff Writer

Police investigating a Sept. 2 double murder in Bellevue—who are awaiting the return of evidence results from the Idaho State Police crime laboratory in Boise—have sent additional evidence to the FBI crime lab at Quantico, Va., for tests.

According to Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling, results on an DNA analysis is the core link investigators are awaiting to try to tie up the case, make arrests and hold a press conference on what may have happened in the early-morning hours of Sept. 2.

DNA recovered at the scene is under examination by a New York analyst who is on contract with the Idaho State Police crime lab, said Boise crime lab manager Rachel Cutler.

Blaine County Chief Deputy Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Monday it could be a month or longer before results are in.

"DNA is time consuming," he said.

Regarding the slow turn-around of evidence from the crime lab, "There’s always more work than there are people," Cutler said. "We certainly get things done as fast as we can, but we’re handling the whole state’s DNA load, for example."

Cutler said the lab asks for more money each year, but "obviously there’s just no money to give right now."

No one has been arrested for the murders of Alan S. Johnson, 46, and Diane M. Johnson, 52, who were shot in the bedroom of their Glen Aspen Drive home in southern Bellevue in the early morning hours of Sept. 2. Femling said authorities were investigating two "people of interest," a list that was whittled down from three two weeks ago.

Diane Johnson was shot in the couple’s bed while Alan Johnson was taking a shower, Femling said. The sheriff declined to elaborate about where Alan Johnson was shot or where his body was found. The murder weapon, a rifle of an unspecified caliber, was found in the home’s master bedroom, where the shootings unfolded. The rifle was typically stored in the Johnsons’ guest house, which was rented to a tenant. The Johnsons did not own the weapon, Femling said.

Sarah Johnson, the Johnson’s 16-year-old daughter, was home at the time of the shootings. According to reports from neighbors, Sarah Johnson ran screaming into the street following the sounds of the gunshots.

Matt Johnson, the Johnson’s son, was attending college at the University of Idaho in Moscow and arrived in Bellevue by Tuesday evening.



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