published Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Chattanooga police: Officers were right not to search home where dead twins were found

506 Acorn Street
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An autopsy report confirms that the dead bodies found inside the home on 506 Acorn Street were that of twins Andrew Garry Johnson and Anthony Larry Johnson. However, police will not determine the men's cause of death until receiving a toxicology report.

The Johnsons, who would have turned 64 this year, were discovered dead Saturday after family members got a key to the house. A receipt found inside, along with the conditions of the bodies, leads investigators to believe the twins both died in 2011.

That year, the Johnsons' sister tried to check on them, according to a Chattanooga police news release. When she couldn't get inside, the sister called 911, and police responded. However, nobody went inside.

The officers thought the house was vacant, according to the release. A member of the U.S. Post Office had also placed a note inside the mailbox advising that the home appeared abandoned.

"There were no signs of forced entry to the residence, no foul odors, no signs of foul play or suspicious activity, and no visible/evident reason to allow forced entry to the residence," Chattanooga Police Public Information Officer Tim McFarland wrote in an email.

In addition, according to the release, the Johnsons' family members told officers that they would not be surprised if the twins moved without telling anybody.

Then, on Saturday, family members with a key to the house called police again and asked the officers to check on the Johnsons. That's when they found them dead.

McFarland says police officers were right not to search the Johnsons' house in 2011.

"While this incident is tragic and unfortunate, Andrew and Anthony lived a hermit lifestyle and did not communicate with family or anyone else," he wrote. "... While well being checks are routine calls, department protocol was followed each time. Officers responded and there were no obvious (pressing) circumstances that would allow officers to force entry to the residence on any of the calls received to check the well being of the brothers."

Contact Staff Writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or at tjett@timesfreepress.com

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