Family raises questions after Bibb man missing for more than a year

bpurser@macon.comNovember 27, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- James “Jimmy” Johnson, 53, of Bibb County has been missing since August 2011.

“There’s no trace of him,” said Houston County sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Middlebrooks. “No one has seen him. No one has heard from him.”

“Unreliable sources” suspect foul play in Johnson’s disappearance, Middlebrooks said. But he declined to disclose those sources, and authorities are treating the disappearance as a missing person’s case, he said.

Kim Tindall, Johnson’s former wife, recently raised renewed interest in the case because of the length of time Johnson has been missing, Middlebrooks said. Tindall and Johnson have children together, and she also wants to help her former mother-in-law find some peace, Middlebrooks said.

“They want to know what happened to him,” Middlebrooks said.

Johnson has open warrants for his arrest in Houston County on charges of battery, theft by taking, stalking and an unrelated contempt of court, Middlebrooks said.

Johnson’s mother, Daphine Blankenship of Kathleen, reported her son missing to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 13, 2011.

Johnson was last seen Aug. 14, 2011, at Southern Equipment, 6056 Bethel Church Road, Lizella, according to NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. A friend had allowed him to live on the property after he moved out of his mother’s home, Middlebrooks said.

Johnson was out of work at the time of his disappearance, Middlebrooks said.

Blankenship, 70, said Tuesday she suspects her son is dead, likely the victim of a homicide. She said she doesn’t believe the charges against him are serious enough to have caused him to flee.

“Sooner or later somebody is going to get their fanny in deep trouble and to get out they are going to tell what happened,” Blankenship said. “That’s what I hope will happen.”

Johnson was described on the NamUs website as white, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 140-150 pounds, with blue eyes, gray hair with a little brown and a mustache. He sometimes wears reading glasses and has various tattoos, including one on his arm with the word, “TEXAS,” according to the website.

Anyone with information about Johnson’s whereabouts or disappearance is asked to contact Middlebrooks at (478) 542-2085 or GBI special agent Ben Collins at (478) 987-4545.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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