Family members mourn the murder of Eugene Johnson

Published 09/04 2014 05:10PM

Updated 09/04 2014 11:30PM

Smoke coming from his apartment alerted neighbors that he might be in trouble and their worst fears were confirmed when Eugene Johnson's body was found.

"Upon Clio Police Department getting to the scene they discovered a body inside,” said Sheriff Leroy Upshaw.

The dead body found was the father of Clio Police Chief Richard Johnson. If investigators are correct it was not the fire that killed him. They say he was already dead when the flames erupted.

Upshaw won't get into specifics about how the crime was carried out., but a source close to the probe tells us they body was badly burned. This could make it more difficult to confirm the cause of death.

State investigators were summoned to help figure out what happened and who did it. For Upshaw and others its a crime that hits close to home since Johnson's son was a law enforcement officer.

"You know, sometimes we have to investigate our friends or our family something happening to so that makes it more difficult on local law enforcement, so that's another reason to bring the outside agencies in,” said Upshaw.

Eugene Johnson’s family was planning to spend the day with him, but now it's a trip they will never make.

"My granddaddy was a very kind, very loving, very free hearted, very giving,” said granddaughter Eboni Johnson. “Everything that you could or would think of to describe a great human being its what he was. We are heart broken and we will miss him terribly."

While lots of people will miss Johnson they also know the person who killed him must be brought to justice. An autopsy on Johnson's body is being performed at the forensics lab in Montgomery. Investigators are hoping it will yield clues on what happened and who did it. 

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