A Michigan woman has been charged for stabbing to death her three-year-old daughter and then dumping her body in a garbage bag. Justine Johnson, 22, was arrested from her home in Oscoda, about 190 miles north of Detroit, last Friday for the gruesome murder of the toddler.
Police found the body of the three-year-old after responding to a call from her residence. On reaching there, they found the girl's body inside a garbage bag. Following that Johnson was taken into custody and has now been charged with one count of felony murder and one count of first-degree child abuse.
Johnson was reportedly busted by her brother who had come to her home. According to police, Johnson's brother first saw the child's feet poking out of the garbage bag inside their home and had doubts. He then called 911 at around 4 am to alert the police, according to an affidavit obtained by ABC12.
When police reached they found the girl's body stuffed inside the bag after searching the home. The girl was found with multiple stabbing wounds and had died quite some time back. Johnson wasn't home when they made the grim discovery.
The woman's brother told police that he grew suspicious after not seeing the child in the house and asked Johnson about her daughter but she asked him to mind his own business.
However, police managed to track Johnson down a few hours later after she was spotted walking on railroad tracks near her home. Johnson initially refused to cooperate saying that she didn't want to speak about her daughter.
Understandably, Johnson had killed her daughter at least a more than 24 hours before the discovery was made as her brother had about the girl the night earlier. The child death has shocked Johnson's brother and other family members.
Police is still investigating the incident. It is still not known under what circumstances Johnson decided to kill her daughter and then decide to hide her corpse. It is also not known if the murder weapon has been recovered.
The little girl lived primarily with her grandmother, but Johnson would visit frequently, according to police. She had come just a day earlier this week and came with the intention to kill the child.
If proved guilty, Johnson would be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. "The felony murder carries a penalty of life without parole and first-degree child abuse carries a penalty of life in prison," Iosco County Prosecutor James Bacarella said.
He described the death of the three-year-old girl as shocking. "Any time a child dies it is a tragedy, but for a child to pass away in this manner it is incomprehensible," he said.