The Walgreens employee allegedly murdered his 17-year-old co-worker in the break room of a Colorado store location when the girl informed managers that he was making unwanted romantic progress.
Joshua Taylor Johnson, 28, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 17-year-old Riley Whitlow, the Colorado Springs Police Department revealed Monday.
A few months before her brutal murder, Whitelaw had informed the store manager that Johnson had made her feel unwell and that “he made progress toward her,” the affidavit said.
The teenager requested a work schedule to avoid Johnson, but when Whitlow later requested extra hours, she was told she would have to work with Johnson again.
Another colleague said Johnson “appeared to be jealous” when Whitlow’s boyfriend started working at the same Walgreens store about three months ago, The Gazette reported.
According to the affidavit, Johnson allegedly stacked boxes in the store’s breakroom at 6820 Centennial Boulevard on Saturday to disrupt security camera view and paper tape on windows.
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A customer told law enforcement she heard a woman’s voice and thought she was slamming the stalls, the Denver Post reported, citing an affidavit.
The manager dialed 911 around 6:55 a.m. and told the emergency operator that he had found a body in the breakroom and that “there is blood everywhere.” He said the area was marked “toilet closed” to keep people away from breakrooms, which is unusual for business hours.
Johnson was identified as a suspect and was approached by Colorado State Patrol personnel on Interstate 25 near Walsenberg, about an hour and 20 minutes from Colorado Springs. Scratches were found on his face and hands and he was arrested Sunday, police said.
The affidavit states that Johnson told investigators he was in the break room when he was “covered in blood” and went home to wash his clothes. He refused to stack the box in front of the surveillance camera, despite a video of him doing so, but was later spotted near a large trash can where investigators seized an empty beach bottle, according to court documents.
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The investigation is still active and anyone with information or who is a witness has asked the Colorado Springs Police Department to call (719) 444-7000. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.