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Police searching for missing couple find 2 bodies in woods

February 12, 2021 GMT
Portage police investigate a missing persons case in Portage, Mich. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Police checking on a Kalamazoo-area man who didn’t report to work online put yellow tape around the property. Officers also brought shovels to the backyard. Gary and Laura Johnson, both in their mid-60s, were not at their Portage home, but officers found “signs of violence.” Public Safety Director Nick Armold says there's no “rational explanation” for their disappearance. (Joel Bissell/MLive.com/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)
Portage police investigate a missing persons case in Portage, Mich. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Police checking on a Kalamazoo-area man who didn’t report to work online put yellow tape around the property. Officers also brought shovels to the backyard. Gary and Laura Johnson, both in their mid-60s, were not at their Portage home, but officers found “signs of violence.” Public Safety Director Nick Armold says there's no “rational explanation” for their disappearance. (Joel Bissell/MLive.com/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)
Portage police investigate a missing persons case in Portage, Mich. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Police checking on a Kalamazoo-area man who didn’t report to work online put yellow tape around the property. Officers also brought shovels to the backyard. Gary and Laura Johnson, both in their mid-60s, were not at their Portage home, but officers found “signs of violence.” Public Safety Director Nick Armold says there's no “rational explanation” for their disappearance. (Joel Bissell/MLive.com/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities searching for a missing couple near Kalamazoo found two bodies Friday in a wooded area about three miles from their home.

The bodies were believed to be Gary and Laura Johnson, although identities hadn’t been confirmed, said Portage Public Safety Director Nick Armold.

Experts from Western Michigan University were involved in a dig at Gourdneck State Game Area in Portage. Dogs led police to ground that had been disturbed.

“As sad as this is, this is the result we thought we were going to get,” Armold said before the bodies were discovered.

The Johnsons were missing for days. Police entered their Portage home Tuesday, after Gary’s employer said he had not logged on for work, and found signs of violence, Armold said.

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The couple’s 27-year-old son was arrested on other charges after being found in a storage unit at an apartment building. A car belonging to his parents was nearby. Armold declined to say what the younger man told investigators.

Laura Johnson, 65, got a personal protection order against their estranged son in 2018, saying he needed mental health care. She said he assaulted them, damaged property and refused to leave their home, WWMT-TV reported.

“We are done with allowing him to keep destroying our house and property,” Laura Johnson said.