A missing Alexandria man, Ryan “RJ” Johnson, was found Wednesday morning, but sadly with an outcome no one was hoping for. The Alexandria Police Department released this update on their Facebook:
“Updated 04/12/17 Details: The sheriff’s office dive team located Ryan Johnson in the waters of Lake Agnes this morning around 10 a.m. The deceased will be transported to the Mid-West Medical Examiner’s Office to conduct further examination. This is standard protocol in a case such as this. Assisting the Alexandria Police Department throughout the investigation were the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, West Central Minnesota Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Alexandria Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Technical and Community College law enforcement students, and Life Flight.
We want to thank the public for calling in as you did with all potential leads. Also, please remember and respect Ryan’s family in this time of sadness for them all.”
Ryan “RJ” Johnson was last seen the night of Thursday April 6th, after leaving Fat Daddy’s Bar and Grill in Alexandria, MN. On April 9th, his cousin, Shonna Curtis posted a plea on Facebook to help find him. Since then it has had over 1,295 shares. With a photo of RJ, it read:
“ATTENTION EVERYONE This is my cousin. His name is Ryan Johnson he went missing from the alexandria area around 11pm thursday night he has been missing for more then 48 hours. He walked to a bar called fat daddy’s to meet some friends ,he was at the bar for about ten minutes according to his friends and then said he was walking to a friends house which he never made it to. He has not been home, seen or heard from by any family or friends after he left the bar. He is in his mid thirties, slim, relatively tall with dark brown almost black hair and stretched ears. He also has a lot of damage to his teeth that would be a very noticeable feature. Any information please contact me or the alexandria police department. Please share and give all the prayers you can to bring my cousin home safe!”
The Alexandria Police Department posted on their Facebook April 9th, asking for the public’s help in locating him. Some friends took it upon themselves to also look for him, walking the walking trails and around The Depot and lakes surrounding it. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, West Central Minnesota Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Alexandria Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Technical and Community College law enforcement students, and Life Flight also assisted in the search.
On April 10th, his mother Deb Johnson wrote on Shonna Curtis Facebook post, in response to 105 comments made on the post:
“THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR PRAYERS! WE APPRECIATE THEM DEB AND CHUCK JOHNSON THANK YOU ALL FOR CARING!”
Many people commented on the original post, along with other News Outlets covering the story. Here are some memories people have of him.
“RJ, you would give the shirt off your back. That might be an expression, but I think it’s true. You’re not just another facebook post, you were always my best friends best friend. You were always around in my teen years and the beginning of my adulthood, hanging around the ones I was with most, helping people, always kind and gentle, in the back seat of our car, riding with us somewhere, making people laugh and making my friends happy. I’m praying hard for those closest to you, I wish you didn’t have to go like this. Wish you could read all the nice things people are saying about you. Wish I would have invested more time to be in conversation with you because I know how important you were to my loved ones. Be at peace with Jesus.” ~Miranda Southerland
“He’s a good guy, I use to work with him.” ~Samantha Bowdish
“Johnson” is a kind heart and a simply mind. I remember him from high school and pushing carts at Walmart here in Alexandria. I hope no evil has been done onto him.” ~James Anderke
“I hope Ryan is found safe & sound. Ryan is humble & kind. Thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends.” ~Kim Anderson
“He is such a kind hearted guy. Always nice and respectful.” ~Amanda Dahmes
“Omg plz find my friend! This guy came to my job to visit me everyday to talk. Plz find him I pray he’s okay!” ~Benjamin Ferrell
“This is just unreal. He was just the nicest. I knew him for such a long time and even to this day, if he saw me, he would go out of his way to say hi and strike up a conversation.” ~James Trousil
“Fly high RJ! You were the nicest person ever, youd do anything to help a person in need. I still can’t believe your gone!” -Katie Noyes
“I remember the first time I met RJ in high school, it was at “See You At The Party,” a New Year’s lock in with Christian Bands. He over heard me talking about how I wanted a certain band’s sweatshirt. He over heard me talking to my friends, handed me the money and walked away. We lost contact over time. Almost a decade later, we worked together. I remembered him and he remembered me. I tried to pay him back, but he wouldn’t take my money. He always tried his best, tried to see the good in anyone and made people laugh.” -Jackie Fogelson
“RJ was a great man and a great friend to have for many years. He always looked out for others and helped them in times of trouble. He will be missed greatly by many. He believed in always trying his best, and encouraged me to do so and not to give up my dreams. He had many talents I did not know about when we first met, as he was quiet. When we got to know each other we talked and became friends. I remember all the good times and him supporting me not even in my best times. Wishing the best for his family through this tough time”- Quintin Bianco“I am So very very sorry for everyone’s loss . As a Mom I can only imagine. 🙁
You were a good friend to my son. He will miss you greatly. It feels like I will see you come in the house any minute now. May Jesus hold you close. ♡ Be in Peace.” -Johnna Nelson
“He was such a great guy, Rest in Peace Ryan.” -Amberrose Nelson
“He’s such a great guy with a heart of gold. He was good to everyone.” -Alicia DeMartelaere
Ryan Johnson, born April 20th, 1984, passed away on April 12th, 2017. RJ will be remembered as kind, caring, happy soul who always helped people, made them laugh and always tried to find the good in people. He has worked at Pilot Truck Stop, was a crew member who got promoted to a manager at Taco Bell, Subway and MidWest Taxi in Alexandria.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as they go through the grief of their child, brother, cousin, nephew, and friend.
“You know what they say, God only takes the best.
Everything happens for a reason, Even if we may not agree. Just promise to look after us, And if you can,
Save a spot up there for me.
The thought of never seeing you again brings tears to my eyes, And even more so
Because all of this was such a surprise.
But we should never question what God has planned, Sometimes it’s not meant for us to understand.
So as we sit here and mourn the loss of a beloved friend,
We have to keep telling ourselves that we will meet again.”Source
In Loving Memory
Easy To Fall in Love With, Hard to Forget
A Go Fund Me Page has been set up to help cover funeral expenses, by Nathan Larson, a past employer of RJ’s at MidWest Taxi.