By Michelle Leigh Smith
For the Fort bend star
The body of Michael Lee Johnson, 19, was found in secluded woods by Missouri City police on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 26, after they received a report from a landscaping crew.
Missouri City police responded to a report of a man down in a wooded area of Buffalo Run Park, 1122 Buffalo Run. Arriving officers discovered the body of a male victim with significant trauma to his body. The case is still under investigation and detectives are following up on any and all leads.
Johnson had multiple wounds.
“We aren’t releasing the exact cause of death yet, but it is being ruled a homicide,” said Capt. Paul Poulton. “They finished the autopsy Thursday around 1 p.m. He was not a student; I don’t believe he worked anywhere.”
The scene where Johnson fell is serene, with a lake, beautiful woods and jogging trails.
“It’s unfortunate people use it for this,” Poulton said.
He said the body was probably in the park for two days.
“Whatever happened did not appear to be accidental,” Poulton said.
“It was definitely suspicious in nature and foul play has been confirmed,” Poulton said. “Because the injuries to the body, it doesn’t look like anything that would have been an accident of any nature.”
Friday morning, investigators said there have been no arrests.
Park walkers say this is not the first time a body has been found in the park. Two years ago, in June of 2016, Estuar Quinonez, a 16-year-old boy, was shot multiple times and killed by the MS-13 gang members. He was found on a jogging trail between Texas Parkway and Fondren near Thurgood Marshall High School.
“The safety of our citizens and commercial partners is an ongoing priority for city council and staff and while we are aware that recent incidents may be a cause for concern, the public can rest assured that all three cases were handled with the highest levels of professionalism by our public safety professionals,” said Mayor Allen Owen. “It is also important to note that each incident involved extenuating circumstances that are under investigation and the City will continue to be transparent and share updates with the media when available.”
Owen added, “I would also like to point out that the Missouri City Police Department has reduced crime to record lows citywide in the past five years through our Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety Program, an initiative that is aimed at reducing the incidence of crime, crashes and traffic violations by drawing on the deterrent of highly visible traffic enforcement and the knowledge that crime often involves the use of motor vehicles. Further, the City’s public safety initiatives are so effective that many Part I crimes dropped double digits over the same timeframe.”
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to call the Missouri City Police Department at 281-403-8700 or Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers at 281-342-TIPS (8477).