LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been almost four years to the day that the body of 23-year-old Eric Carver Johnson was found murdered at the intersection of West 18th and Hayes Street. Although one man was later arrested for the crime, the case never made its way to trial because of a lack of evidence. Now, Lake Charles police are hoping you can fill in the missing pieces, and put a murderer, or murderers, behind bars.
Eric Carver Johnson was on track to graduate from Lamar University with a degree in chemical engineering. That is, until the night of December 3rd, 2004. That's when his lifeless body was found lying next to a busy Lake Charles intersection. "This victim was at a stop sign, in his vehicle. He was shot by maybe one or two people. We do know that those people, as he fought, he tried to get out of his vehicle. That's when he was shot. Those two people left, possibly trying to take his vehicle. Once that vehicle was removed from here, we found it about 300 yards from here. We don't know yet if it rolled. We don't believe so but we believe from this point that that vehicle was driven by these suspects to a little remote area just north of here," says Sgt. Mark Kraus with the Lake Charles Police Department.
Despite the fact this crime occurred around 3:50 AM, police are confident that somebody was on this busy street at the time of the crime, and saw something that could be useful to solving this case. "We know from experience and our call load in this neighborhood that there are a lot of pedestrians out, not only at that time of the night, but all the times throughout the day and night. We think somebody may have information on that," says Kraus. "We all want somebody to pay for this in terms of going to jail and getting that person off of the streets because he has violated the trust in the community, but he is is not going to be a productive member of society like Mr. Johnson was trying to be."
Eric's mother, Tommie Johnson, says her family can't find closure until those responsible are brought to justice. She's confident that someone has information that can lead to the arrest of those responsible. "Definitely so. I do feel that there is information out there and if anybody knows anything, please come forward. The family, we're ready to have this ended. We'd like to see justice, and also, I'm sure Eric will be too -- be happy to get this ended."