Gail Marlene Johnson Death – Authorities have identified a woman whose body was found 23 years ago in Long Lake Regional Park as Gail Marlene Johnson, 40, of Minneapolis. Investigators are still trying to solve the cold case and find out how she died and who was responsible.
A BCA graphic with photos of Gail Marlene Johnson. Gail Marlene Johnson (Courtesy of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) Her body was found in a wooded and marshy area by two teenagers walking in the New Brighton Park on Sept. 15, 2000.
Investigators believe she had been there as long as two months. Forensic scientists with the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension obtained DNA from the remains but didn’t find a match in any database for missing people or convicted offenders.
This summer, however, investigators obtained a DNA profile that would allow them to tap into genetic genealogy resources and were able to make a likely connection to Johnson’s family. After receiving a DNA sample from a family member they confirmed Johnson’s identity.
“It’s been 23 years and we never gave up on finding out who this woman was and what happened to her,“ New Brighton Public Safety Director Tony Paetznick said. “Identifying her provides an important new clue as we continue our work to determine the circumstances of her death.”
Because of the condition of her remains, authorities could not determine her exact cause and manner of death but do consider the circumstances suspicious.
They say she was 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighed 135 pounds and had light brown hair. She drove a black or gray 1989 Ford Mustang, had been a sex worker and was known to spend time along Lake Street in Minneapolis.
She last had contact with law enforcement on July 11, 2000.
Investigators ask anyone who knew or had contact with Gail Johnson to reach out by phone (651-288-4141); on their website (https://newbrightonmn.gov/gail); or by email at email@example.com.