A “suicidal and homicidal” man is believed to be on the run with his 5-year-old son, and police are asking for help in catching him before it’s too late.
“Authorities are concerned for the wellbeing of Mr. Johnson and his son, Johnnathan,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.
It's unclear how long the man has been on the run with his son, but Gwinnett County police's involvement began Friday morning when one of their officers stopped a vehicle for running a red light at the intersection of Nelson Brogdon Boulevard and Buford Highway in Buford, police said in a statement released Tuesday.
The officer ran a license check on the driver and discovered that Mr. Jeremiah E. Johnson, who was living in Fort Bragg, NC, had been reported as missing from Iowa and was accompanied by his son.
The information from Iowa indicated that Mr. Johnson was “suicidal and homicidal” and disappeared with his son during a custody dispute with the child’s mother.
When the officer told Mr. Johnson to get out of his car, he drove off with his son in the back seat and was able to elude the officer, who was following at a distance out of concern for the child’s safety, police said.
Over the weekend, authorities with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office found Mr. Johnson’s personal belongings abandoned in their area.
“It’s unknown why Mr. Johnson abandoned all his property but it’s theorized that he may act on his suicidal/homicidal thoughts or is attempting to start a new identity with his son,” Cpl. Smith said.
Gwinnett police have secured arrest warrants for Mr. Johnson on charges of fleeing or eluding police, two counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, cruelty to children, failure to obey a traffic control device and reckless conduct, Cpl. Smith said.
Police are looking for Mr. Johnson’s silver 2003 Volkswagen Passat, bearing Iowa tag 608ZDB. The car has a carrier attached to the back that extends approximately 3 feet.
There is a large-screen TV attached to the back of the front seat and there are handwritten writings on the exterior of the vehicle, one of which says “9/11 Veteran,” police said.
Mr. Johnson is white, 5-foot-9 and 230 pounds with blond hair and green eyes.
Police are asking that anyone who sees the car or may have information call 911 or Gwinnett County police at (770) 515-5000.
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