Body found at rest stop

Published 4:21 pm Friday, August 21, 2009

The body of a missing Montgomery man was found Friday at the northbound rest stop off Interstate 65.

Robert Johnson II died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to Sheriff Kevin Davis.

Though the death investigation is still ongoing, Davis said most of the evidence suggests suicide.

“The information we have gathered at this time points us to suicide, but the case remains open,” said Davis. “We will not close the case until we receive all the evidence, including the autopsy.”

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences will conduct an autopsy Saturday. A preliminary report will be back early next week, Davis said.

Johnson’s black 1999 Mercedes E300DT was found Tuesday at the rest area, and investigators believe he probably died that day.

“He had been there for an extended period of time,” Davis said. “I do feel the death occurred sometime around Tuesday.”

A groundskeeper found the body shortly after 2 p.m. in a wooded area behind the area’s truck stop. Authorities recovered a handgun near Johnson’s body, Davis said.

The Mercedes was removed Thursday from the rest stop by Montgomery Police Department. Police searched the area but didn’t find Johnson. The search area Thursday didn’t cover where Johnson was eventually found Friday.

A helicopter with the Alabama State Troopers was scheduled to fly over the area Friday, but the body was recovered before that happened.

Johnson was reported missing Tuesday after he failed to show up for work. He was last seen leaving his home around 6 a.m.

Davis said authorities don’t know why Johnson ended up in Chilton County.

“There’s no rhyme or reason from what we have gathered,” Davis said.