Family identifies body found on Ooltewah-Georgetown Rd. - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family identifies body found on Ooltewah-Georgetown Rd.

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HAMILTON COUNTY. TN. (WRCB) -- James Gregory Johnson was released from prison just three days before his body was found in the woods off Ooltewah-Georgetown Rd.

"He came out different, he was a different Greg than we knew," says his sister Regina Moore. 

Johnson served three years for violation of probation. All he brought home were his clothes, pictures and religious books. "What happens next week we will never know but this week he was a different person," says Moore.  

His family wonders how he wound up dead in the nearby woods? His sister says he stepped outside Saturday afternoon and wasn't seen again. "He had gone outside to smoke so my mother thought," Moore says.

Hours later they say he called to let them know he had gone to visit a friend and was walking back. "Said I'm down the road at the subdivision come and get me. Come to the end [of the street] and blow your horn," explains Moore.  

However Johnson, who is legally blind, never made it back.

His family believes he was lost somewhere in the woods, where he had tried to take a shortcut to a friend's house. However, he never said that and his family didn't worry because they knew he hadn't seen his friends in years.

"We weren't concerned until Monday morning," Moore says.  

That's when they called police but finding him proved to be extremely difficult. Crews searched for his newly bought cell phone first. "They pinged him from the Bradley County line almost to HWY 58," says Moore.  

Johnson's body was found Tuesday morning, less than a mile away.

However, how he died is still a mystery. His family speculates he was bitten by a poisonous snake or overheated but only an autopsy report can answer that.

The medical examiner office tells Channel 3 the autopsy was performed Wednesday. It could be a couple days before investigators know exactly how and why Johnson died.

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