An Ajo Arizona woman, Latoya Leonardine Johnson, was sentenced to 35 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for murdering a six-year-old boy on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. Johnson previously pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder.
According to the Department of Justice DOJ), on September 24, 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Border Patrol, and members of the Tohono O’odham Police Department began to search for the missing six-year-old victim. They ultimately located foot sign indicating an adult and a child had walked from the remote village into the desert. While following the foot sign, law enforcement came across the victim’s t-shirt and found a long wooden object. From there, the adult footprints continued along with what appeared to be drag marks. Ultimately, the footprints led law enforcement to discover the victim’s body.
A Tribal member of Tohono O’odham, Johnson admitted to walking the victim, who lived nearby, into the desert and beating him with the wooden object, resulting in his death, according to the DOJ.
The boy was also a Tribal member of Tohono O’odham.