HOUMA, La. (WGNO) - Nineteen detectives and crime scene investigators are working around the clock to find the man who murdered 56-year-old Pamela Johnson in her home in Bourg Monday night, shooting her once in the head in front of her two young nieces.
Johnson and her husband are recently separated. They had been taking care of the two girls, ages seven and 10, since they were orphaned three years ago.
“These little girls are strong. Despite what they've been through, they’re very strong and have been very helpful,” says Captain Dawn Foret, Assistant Chief of Detectives at Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Terrebonne police say after witnessing the murder, the girls, who did not recognize the killer, were kidnapped and apparently left, physically unharmed, in a car overnight. They approached a stranger Tuesday morning and that woman called the police.
Detectives say the girls were found near a new, dark gray Buick Enclave, registered to the murder victim. It was abandoned on Wade Street in Houma.
“From the point from where the victim resides to where the children were abandoned is about a 20-mile stretch, so our detectives are actually going door-to-door and visibly checking for video surveillance at every residence and every business along the route that we believe the suspect took,” says Foret.
Investigators say at the time of the murder, Pamela Johnson was the only adult living in the spacious home with the girls.
They are interested in speaking with all of Johnson’s relatives, including her estranged husband, hoping that one of them will help them find answers.
No suspects have been named in the case and with no obvious sign of forced entry or theft, detectives have yet to determine a motive. The current description is “unknown black male.”
“According to her employers, her co-workers, neighbors, friends, family, pretty much everyone, we haven't found an ill word about her; she was not involved in any type of illicit activity or involved in anything that would have potentially contributed to her murder,” says Foret.
One of the nieces had started her Christmas list, and Foret says many of the detectives working on the case plan to help make some of those wishes come true—including one request for bacon.
If you have any information that can help solve this crime, please contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-743-7433, or the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, at 985-876-2500.