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Semmes mother killed children, then committed suicide, sheriff says

Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch said the death of two young children and their mother in Semmes on Thursday was a murder-suicide. (Call News)



A Semmes woman killed her two young children Thursday before committing suicide, Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch said Friday.

The Semmes Police Department and the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office found the bodies of Mia Johnson, 5, Jacob Johnson, 2, and Nancy Johnson, 37, in a home at 9863 Evergreen Court, just off Snow Road, Thursday afternoon. Johnson’s estranged husband, Derek Johnson, found the bodies and called 911.

The couple had domestic issues and both had filed for divorce in another state, authorities said.

Burch said an autopsy concluded the two children were drowned and Mia Johnson’s throat was cut. The children were then positioned on a sofa in the home and were found with a blanket over them. Nancy Johnson hung herself with a silk-type belt in a nearby closet, Burch said.

“(The children) had been basically cleaned up by water from being submerged,” Burch said.

Burch said the sheriff’s department has not recovered any notes regarding the suicide. Derek Johnson, who traveled from Utah and arrived at the residence with a camper on Wednesday, is not a suspect and has cooperated with law enforcement, Burch said.

“She was clearly mentally unstable,” Burch said of Nancy Johnson. “He had some concerns because of her behavior.”

Burch and Semmes police chief Todd Freind said there was a history of domestic violence between Derek and Nancy Johnson.

“We had a lot of domestic disturbance calls out here from the couple, so we understand there’s a protection from abuse for the husband as well but it’s from another state,” Freind said. “It has not been enforced down here.”

Freind said the domestic violence calls from the residence ranged from harassment to physical violence made by the husband and wife.


  1. Diane Gary on October 23, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    Why hasn’t there been any follow up on this case? How was the case closed in 24 hours? What evidence was found that eliminated Derek?

  2. Diane Gary on October 23, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Is there any further information on this case? It seems like 24 hours could not possibly be enough to conclude. There are too many questions that have not been answered.

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