A 46-year-old man accused of raping and kidnapping two young girls is a "person of interest" in connection with a search for human remains in Lookout Valley.
Christopher J. Johnson was booked into Hamilton County on July 4 on charges of aggravated rape and especially aggravated kidnapping. Bond was set at $151,000 bond.
At a preliminary hearing on July 11, General Sessions Court Judge Ron Durby sent the case to the grand jury and raised Johnson's bond to $500,000, records show.
On July 14, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office investigators began searching an area near Cash Canyon Road in Lookout Valley, where the bones of a 33-year-old homicide victim were found more than six years ago.
Melissa "Missy" Ward was reported missing on Nov. 2, 2004. Two months later, her body was found by a local defense attorney when he was looking at a home to purchase near Cash Canyon Road.
Investigators said they were looking for human remains of women who possibly were dumped there by a serial killer.
"We don't have anything to substantiate it at this point," Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said at the time. "We're just looking at whether or not there's credibility at this time."
While they searched the property for several days, investigators said they found nothing.
In the rape case, sheriff's investigators said Johnson took two girls, ages 13 and 14, to a McDonald's on Browns Ferry Road in Lookout Valley, then took them to a wooded area behind a Wilcox Road address. Once they reached the woods, Johnson bound the girls with duct tape and sexually assaulted and raped them numerous times, an affidavit states.
Johnson was one of the girls' relatives, the affidavit states.
Johnson later was found with a self-inflicted knife wound and a suicide note. He was treated at Erlanger hospital before being booked into the jail, the report states.
Relatives have told the sheriff's office that Johnson has a drug problem.