News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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June 22, 2011

VIDEO: Family, volunteers widen search for Morgan Johnson

TERRE HAUTE — The search continues for a missing man whose family in Vigo County continues to organize searches and canvass areas he was known to frequent.

Morgan Johnson, 27, was last seen May 18 at his residence at an extended-stay hotel at the I-70 exit in Plainfield.

On Tuesday, Ann Johnson Smith talked to a coalition of people in Terre Haute organized to spread the word about her missing son. Johnson has a medical condition and may have been distraught about his grandfather’s recent death.

The volunteer group met in a classroom at Sarah Scott Middle School, where Ann Smith is a teacher, to review ongoing efforts such as contacting hospitals, shelters, rehab centers, libraries, churches and other places where Morgan may have been seen.

Volunteers helping in the search indicated their progress in making contacts and distributing fliers, and organizers said they found that churches seem to have been most helpful in spreading the word in the Plainfield and Indianapolis areas.

Johnson’s car, a white 1995 Pontiac Grand Am with the license number JS1830, is also missing.

Ann Smith, who said her son takes medicine for epileptic seizures, gave a timeline of when she last had contact with her son, who was employed by Brightpoint, a wireless services company in Plainfield.

She said that she made plans to travel with Morgan to Washington, D.C., for the May 24 funeral of his grandfather. She last spoke to him on May 18, but later found out that Morgan had taken that day off from work after telling his employer that his grandfather had died. Smith said she thought that was odd because the funeral was still a few days off.

Smith said she sent a text message to Morgan on May 19 and again May 20, but received no response. Thinking he might have gone on a church retreat, she said she did not become concerned until May 23 when she still hadn’t heard from her son about going to the funeral.

Morgan’s sister later told Smith that the young man had not shown up in Washington, D.C., for the funeral, either.

A review of video at the hotel where Johnson stayed showed him going to his room on May 18, then leaving close to midnight. He was not carrying anything with him, Smith said, such as luggage.

Since his disappearance, there has been no activity in Johnson’s bank account, Smith said, and his prepaid cell phone has had no activity. He also had no credit cards, and he left his laptop computer in his hotel room.

With the Plainfield and Indianapolis areas almost canvassed — parking garages and shopping mall parking lots have been searched for his car — Smith indicated the search may next turn to the Terre Haute area where volunteers have already been posting fliers with photos of Johnson and his vehicle.

A Silver Alert has been issued for Johnson by the Indiana State Police, as he meets the criteria of being an endangered person because of his medical condition.

Johnson is described as a black male about 5-feet-8 weighing 155 pounds. He has black hair and black eyes.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com.

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