MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Michael Johnson remembers his sister as a person who was strong, assertive but caring.
“She was every person’s dream sister,” he said. “Gloria was great.”
Johnson was only a child when his sister disappeared. It was a day that no one in his family will ever forget. Memphis Police said 19-year-old Gloria Johnson was reported missing by her family on October 6, 1974.
10 days later, Memphis Fire Department responded to a grass fire at, what was known in the ’70s, YMV Road. It was just north of Fields Road and Hicky Street in Southwest Memphis. When firefighters put out the fire, they found Johnson’s body buried under the charred debris.
“My mom got a call to come down and look at the body,” Johnson said. “This is one of the worst things a parent, much less a mother, would have to go through.”
According to detectives, a medical examiner ruled Gloria’s cause of death to be multiple stab wounds.
“She was stabbed several times in the eye and chest,” Johnson said.
Johnson believes his sister knew her killer. He said after the murder, the killer set the field on fire to cover up the crime.
“I can only imagine what my mother felt all those years to lost her first born in that way,” Johnson said.
MPD’s cold case unit has put a new set of eyes on the 48-year-old murder case hoping to put a killer behind bars and give Gloria’s family long overdue justice.
“I love you, and I miss you,” Johnson said.
If you know who killed Gloria Johnson, you are urged to call CrimeStoppers at (901)-528-CASH. CrimeStoppers and Gloria’s family are offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her killer.
All calls are confidential.