First Posted: 1/15/2009
ORRUM -- Elma Jean Johnson was shot in the head and probably blindfolded before her home was burned Monday.
Sheriff's Maj. Jimmy Maynor said that dental records positively identified Johnson as the person who was found dead inside the burned-out singlewide mobile home on Bloomingdale Road.
No one has been arrested in the case, but the Sheriff's Office says it is pursuing several leads.
Maynor said that Johnson, who was 57, was shot in the head with a high-caliber weapon. Maynor said that it appeared that she might have been blindfolded when she died, Maynor said. Her hands did not appear to have been bound.
He said the fire was probably an effort to destroy evidence that might help investigators find her killer.
Authorities believed from the beginning that someone had forced his way into the home and intentionally set the house on fire.
The fire began about 9:30 p.m. Neighbors broke out windows, doused the trailer with garden hoses and tried unsuccessfully to enter the home.
Maynor said Johnson's body was found in a reclined position on a bedroom floor. Assistant Fire Marshal Stephanie Chavis said it appeared that she was fully clothed.
Sheriff's Capt. Randal Patterson said this morning that “it hasn't been positively determined that it was arson but it appears to be a set fire.”