Foul play feared in disappearance
BY NICOLE MARSHALL World Staff Writer
Thursday, September 25, 2008
9/26/08 at 1:44 AM
about a missing Tulsa man incorrectly
reported what was found
in the trunk of his car. A baseball
hat and a shoe were found in the
trunk of a car belonging to Ray
Nathaniel Johnson Jr., who has
been missing since Sept. 11.
A Tulsa businessman and father of six has been missing for two weeks, increasing concerns that he has met with foul play.
Ray Nathaniel Johnson Jr., 34, was last seen Sept. 11. His wife, Adriene Wherry, said she last talked with him by phone about 11 p.m. that Thursday, when he said he would be home soon.
The condition of his car, which was found at his workplace, and the fact that he was not the type of person who would disappear are the main reasons police have classified Johnson as an endangered missing person.
"It is just so crazy that I don't even know what I feel,'' Wherry said. "I don't feel like he is dead. I don't feel like he is gone. I just really don't know what to think."
Wherry said her husband "is not at all the type of guy who would just up and run away. I just hope he is out there somewhere trying to find his way home."
Johnson owns Straight Up Auto Sales at 6014 N. Peoria Ave., and Wherry described him as a workaholic.
He had been at work the day he disappeared and called her that night to say he was going to tow a vehicle with his wrecker and then go home, she said.
Detective Roger Smith said Johnson was last seen in the area of 36th Street North and Hartford Avenue about 11:30 p.m. in a 2000 Chevrolet Impala that he had acquired the day before.
The car is a former police car and still had decals on both sides that read "Vista OLICE" — with the "P" missing.
It was also still equipped with police lights, which Wherry said Johnson had not yet had a chance to remove.
When her husband didn't return home by the next morning, Wherry went to his business to look for him and saw the Impala in the locked car lot, she said.
When she got closer, she saw that the driver's window was partially rolled down and that the car was unlocked.
"That was not like him," she said. "Usually he would have rolled up the window and locked the door."
Every time Wherry called Johnson's cell phone, the call went straight to voice mail. She then called the police and reported him missing.
A police search warrant affidavit says a strong odor of bleach was coming from the car. A baseball bat and one shoe that appeared to be Johnson's were found in the trunk, which also smelled like bleach, the document says.
A red substance that looked like blood was on the shoe, according to the affidavit.
Smith said, "We are following up on all the leads and the tips we are getting, but so far nothing has turned up."
Wherry said she knows of no reason why Johnson should have feared for his safety.
"Now that it has been two weeks, we are just trying to stay positive and let God take care of everything," she said.
Nicole Marshall 581-8459
Ray Nathaniel Johnson Jr.: The father of six was last seen Sept. 11. The car he was driving was found in his business' parking lot the next morning. It reportedly contained a shoe with a red, bloodlike substance on it and a baseball bat. The car also smelled strongly of bleach.