Illinois man arrested 25 years after murder in McMinn County
Woman's body was dumped on I 75 exit in 1996
ATHENS, Tennessee (WDEF) – The TBI announces an arrest in a 25 year old murder in McMinn County.
The case involved a woman whose body was dumped on the side of an I -75 off ramp in 1996.
Investigators identified the victim as Barbara Danley (Lehman) Johnson who was 30 at the time.
They also ruled the case was a homicide.
25 years later, agents re-submitted evidence from the case to the state crime lab.
That led them to identifying a suspect from Illinois.
Two weeks ago, Rodney E. Jackson was indicted for the murder.
He is now in the McMinn County Jail.
“I am incredibly grateful for the relentless work on the part of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in this case,” says 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump.
“The teamwork between the Bureau and our Cold Case Task Force was exceptional. The Cold Case Director, Calvin Rockholt, had followed this case since the formation of the task force and always believed it could be solved. The Bureau proved him right.”
“This is a perfect example of why we are so appreciative of Governor Lee in his recommended budget appropriation that, if approved, would provide a significant investment to allow us to take more vital and innovative steps in the area of forensic science,” says TBI Director David Rausch. “The addition of 25 positions to the Forensic Services Division will help us better manage increases in the number and complexity of cases submitted to our crime labs, as well as the funding for new technology and initiatives to solve these types of cases, and ultimately provide more timely answers for crime victims and their loved ones.”