Sports Ex-NFL receiver Charles Johnson was reported missing the day...

Ex-NFL receiver Charles Johnson was reported missing the day before he died


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The wife of former NFL wide receiver and University of Colorado star Charles Johnson reported him missing the day before he was found dead in a hotel room about 6.5 miles from his home in Raleigh, North Carolina, on July 17, according to police records. USA TODAY Sports.

The suspected cause of his death is not publicly known. Police are still investigating and say there are no signs of foul play.

Johnson died at age 50 after a nine-year career in the NFL, including as a member of the New England Patriots when they won the Super Bowl in February 2002. Johnson was a first-round NFL draft pick in 1994 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. , most recently served as assistant athletic director at Heritage High in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

On July 17, around 1:25 p.m., officers responded to a call for a welfare check at a local Hampton Inn, Raleigh police said.

“Hotel staff and RPD officers responded and found a deceased subject in the room,” Raleigh police said. “There are no signs of foul play in the preliminary investigation. This is still an open and ongoing death investigation.

Raleigh police confirmed Johnson missing on July 16.

Johnson, of San Bernardino, California, is survived by a wife, son and daughter. In a news release about his death, CU said the family was honoring Johnson’s request not to have a public funeral or memorial.

One of Johnson’s best seasons in the NFL came in 1996 with Pittsburgh, where he played with his college quarterback, Cordell Stewart. Johnson caught 60 passes that season for a career-high 1,008 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games as the Steelers finished 7-9.

“Words can’t describe or recognize who CJ is for most people,” Stewart said in CU’s news release about Johnson. “I don’t know how to properly process this – we’ve been friends for over 30 years – but I know CJ will be missed. My heart goes out to Tanisha (his wife), their children and family. God bless them and keep them through these difficult times.”

Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @ Schrotenboer. E-mail:

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