Fresno County Sheriff’s homicide detectives arrested a 62-year-old Squaw Valley man on suspicion of murdering a 46-year-old fellow resident of the county foothill community northeast of Reedley.
Detectives took Roger Johnson into custody on Feb. 16, and booked him into the Fresno County Jail on $1 million bail. Law enforcement believe that Johnson killed Gary Smith, who went missing in July 2018. Human bones were discovered on Johnson’s property, and detectives believe the remains are that of Smith.
A news release from the county sheriff’s office said investigators have been working on the case since July 19. That’s when family members of Smith said he had been missing and not seen in two weeks. At the time Smith was known to be staying in a trailer on Johnson’s property in the 38000 block of Ruth Hill Road in Squaw Valley. After rumors swirled in the community that Smith may have been killed, homicide detectives in September obtained a search warrant of Johnson’s property to look for evidence that could be related to Smith’s disappearance.
On Jan. 12, detectives received a report of possible human remains found off of Barberry Lane in Squaw Valley. At the property, detectives examined the remains and determined they were human bones. The bones currently are being processed through DNA analysis to get an identification.
Anyone with additional information on the case is asked to contact the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-3111, Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP (7867) of online at valleycrimestoppers.org. Tipsters will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.