The Allen County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the 32-year-old Kentucky man found dead in the pond in Allen County.
Investigators say Johnnie Hamm was found in the pond with the cap of a syringe and narcotics nearby. It's believed Hamm's body was in the water for two to three weeks. He also had a national warrant out for his arrest after cutting off his ankle monitor. Hamm's family told police they 'pinged' his phone in Bluffton about two weeks ago, but police found no evidence he was in Bluffton. On March 27, an abandoned vehicle was found a mile from the pond with Kentucky plates. After the owner contacted the sheriff's office he said he sold the car and was awaiting payment from Andrea Wallace and Jeff Thompson. A woman by the name of Andrea was in contact with detectives but has since been unable to be reached.
"At this point, our detectives are going to be waiting, again, for the Lucas County Coroner's Office for the autopsy to come back," said Lt. Andre McConnahea. "Toxicology, things like that. They would like to speak to a female that they spoke to the night of the crash. Figure out what her part was, what her part is in this and and see if she can provide any further information as to why Mr. Hamm was in Allen County."
McConnahea said they believe Hamm was the one driving the abandoned vehicle. He did try to remove the car, once unsuccessful, he fled the scene. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Det. Don Geiger. We now await the results of the toxicology report expected in another few weeks.
Press Release from Lt. Andre McConnahea
Please see the following timeline and investigative details regarding the Perry Township deceased person investigation.
The deceased person can be positively identified as: Johnnie A. Hamm – 9/24/1986 – White Male – 5’ 3” 135lbs – Last known
city of residence Morehead, Kentucky.
· The deceased person call was received on April 4, 2019 at 6:15 P.M. due to a male body floating in a pond on Greely Chapel Rd.
· At 6:18 P.M. Perry Twp EMS arrived on scene, located the body and found no signs of life.
· At 6:23 P.M. deputies arrived and secured the scene
· At 6:40 P.M. Detectives along with I.D. Bureau (Crime Lab) arrived on scene.
· Approximately twenty minutes later Allen County Coroner’s Office Inv. Sizemore arrived on scene
· The body appeared to have been in the pond approximately two to three weeks, but the Lucas County Coroner will need to make the final determination.
· On the bank, near the deceased, Detectives located the cap to a hypodermic syringe, two blue baggies containing an unknown substance, and two clear baggies containing an unknown substance, both consistent with narcotics packaging
· Two Kentucky drivers licenses were located in the deceased males wallet. One belonging to Johnnie Hamm and the other baring the name Jeffrey Howard.
· Investigation revealed the victim had multiple tattoos which were used to identify the victim as Johnnie A. Hamm from Morehead, KY.
· Deceased was sent to Lucas County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.
· We were able to establish contact with the family of the deceased the following day. The family advised they had made contact with a local law enforcement agency concerning Johnnie approximately two weeks ago, but at the time, no missing person report was filed.
· The family member stated, at that time they had used an unknown tracking program and had “pinged” Johnnie’s cellphone.
· According to the last place they were able to ping his cell phone, he was near the Comfort Inn in Bluffton, OH
· It was never confirmed and is not believed the deceased was ever at the Comfort Inn in Bluffton, OH. The only thing confirming the deceased was in or near Bluffton is the fact that his family member stated the cell phone pinged off of the Verizon tower near the Comfort Inn.
· During the autopsy, an additional plastic baggy was discovered, consistent with narcotics transport and trafficking. The plastic baggy was removed from Johnnie’s anal canal which suggests an attempt to conceal narcotics from law enforcement.
· While continuing to investigate, Detectives learned that the Sheriff’s Office had responded to an abandoned motor vehicle complaint on March 27, 2019, approximately 1 mile from the location of the pond on Greely Chapel Rd.
· A white Chevy Malibu with a Kentucky license plate, registered to Brittany and Jason Cook, was located stuck in mud alongside the road, partially in the roadway, abandoned. Multiple beer cans and other paraphernalia was found at the scene.
· The Chevy Malibu appeared to have sustained minor damage to the front bumper, due to going off the road.
· The vehicle was covered in mud, consistent with the operator attempting to free it from the mud.
· Deputies searched the area and attempted to locate the registered owner via telephone but were unsuccessful.
· The vehicle was impounded, and during an inventory sweep officers located female and male clothing and miscellaneous paperwork. One piece of paper had a phone number, along with the name “Andrea”, written on it.
· Deputies contacted the individual who stated her fiancé “Jeff Thompson” had borrowed the car from their friend Jason Cook, but they had since returned it and she did not know why her name and number was still in the vehicle. The female further stated that she knew “Jason” (the registered owner) was working at the Lima Refinery and that she had spoken to him earlier in the night, but had lost connection due to a low battery.
· The female stated she would aid deputies in locating “Jason” by attempting to track his phone with an unknown application. Presumably the same application used by Johnnie’s family. She gave deputies several “ping” locations, each taking them further north and west of the abandoned vehicle, as far away as Central Point Pkwy. The pond where Johnnie was found is located northeast of the vehicle.
· While deputies continued to search for “Jason”, Jason contacted the Sheriff’s Office dispatch center. Jason stated he has never been to Lima, Ohio and that he had sold the vehicle to a couple he knew as Andrea Wallace and Jeff Thompson. Jason stated that he believed Andrea and Jeff had been in Lima for a few weeks but he had been unable to contact them. He said he had been attempting to reach them because they failed to pay for the vehicle as agreed. When deputies attempted to re-contact “Andrea” following the call from Jason, her phone was shutoff. Detectives have since learned that the phone for “Andrea’ is no longer in service and at this point have been unable to locate her.
· It is unknown why “Andrea” gave false information.
· In the days following the discovery of Johnnies body, Detectives have learned that Johnnie had cut off an ankle monitor and had an active nationwide warrant from the State of Kentucky Parole Authority.
· The autopsy found no trauma consistent with injury or foul play.
· We cannot release an official cause of death until toxicology reports and the final Lucas County Coroner report is released.
· It is still unknown why Johnnie was in the Lima area.
Detectives continue to investigate this case and will release additional details as they are learned.