Man Detained in Connection with Triple Murder

Man Detained in Connection with Triple Murder, Accused of Killing His Missing Girlfriend and Her Two Children

A guy has been detained by police in California, close to the Mexican border, on suspicion of killing his girlfriend and her two children, aged four and seven months, who went missing more than a week ago in North Carolina.

The 35-year-old Benjamin Joseph Taylor is accused of three counts of murder and one count of concealing death. He is charged with the murders of Markayla Johnson, 22, Miracle Johnson, 4, and Messiah Johnson, 7 months.

Johnson ceased speaking with family on March 8 and her two kids were reported missing. Their last known location was around Charlotte’s 400 block of Orchard Trace Lane. Around 1:45 p.m. on Friday, while conducting a search of the area, police found three dead inside an apartment.

They were recognized by investigators as Messiah, Johnson, and Miracle.

At a press conference on Saturday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings stated, “This is difficult for me as a police chief,  Nothing is worse than than homicides of small children and family members that we are seeing and talking about here today. We’re doing everything that we can to make sure that we bring closure for the family and also bring justice to the person responsible for these murders.”

During the news conference on Saturday, Jennings stated that Taylor was a person of interest for the police but did not name him as a suspect.

Jennings stated that although they were searching the entire country, they thought Taylor might be in the Carolinas. Although Taylor and Johnson were “in a relationship,” neither of the children had Taylor as their father. Jennings refrained from disclosing the reason behind the killings or the cause of death.

A reporter questioned whether Taylor had murdered Johnson and then her two children in order to erase any potential witnesses.

“Well, I’m not sure how much a 7-month-old can be a witness, but at the same time, I don’t want to speculate about the reasoning behind any of these murders,” Jennings stated. “It’s too early to tell and those are some things that he might be the only one that can answer those questions for us.”

Although it’s unclear how officers found Taylor in California, a press release expressed gratitude to the FBI field office and the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office. While awaiting extradition to North Carolina, Taylor is being held in the Imperial County Jail.

The loss of family members has left the Johnson family inconsolable.

Johnson’s mother Markeysha Johnson told Charlotte ABC station WSOC, “I just want to say, I miss my baby, I miss my grandkids. She was a good person and everybody knows Kayla would do anything for you. She didn’t deserve this. She did not deserve this. She was such a loving person. Everybody knew that.”