Middle Georgia Cold Cases: The Night Watchman
LIZELLA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – G.B.I. agents are trying to find out what happened to a man who went missing almost five years ago. It’s Middle Georgia Cold Cases.
56-year-old Jimmy James Johnson worked the overnight shift at a construction company and disappeared after work.
At the one construction business on Bethel Church Road, the shifts are long and the workload is tougher.
“He was there. He told me he needed some things and to bring them to him,” Daphine Blankenship, Johnson’s mother, said.
She said he worked as a night watchman.
“He was everybody’s friend,” Blankenship smiled.
A friend, a son, and a father who disappeared after his shift in August 2011. There were no clues, no messages, no motive.
“There wasn’t a vehicle, so there wasn’t a BOLO placed because we didn’t have a vehicle, and there weren’t any vehicles known that he would be traveling in,” Rhonda Daniel, the investigating G.B.I. agent in the case, said.
Authorities from different counties searched for Jimmy.
Tips from those closest to him said he could be in Bibb, Crawford, or Houston Counties.
“We did got some information that he was on Boy Scout Road which is located in Byron, but that is a much as we know,” Daniel discovered.
It wasn’t like Jimmy to go without checking in with his mom.
For Daphine, she hurts constantly. She calls it a tough feeling to not know what happened to one of her children — her only son.
“It’s just an overwhelming sadness all the time,” she said as she began to cry.
As the years go by, hope is the only motivation she has left.
“He’s not there. Every time they find a body, which is about every six months, it’s like this never ending funeral,” Blankenship said.
She admits she’s getting older and is fearful she won’t find out what happened.
“I just don’t see how I can die a peaceful death. I don’t — not knowing where my child is,” she cried.
“That’s a motivating factor for me because I put myself in her shoes,” Daniel said.
As the clues fade and the interviews lessen, agents with the G.B.I. aren’t giving up on figuring out what happened to Jimmy.
“You kind of run out of people to contact about the information. People who knew him no longer live in the area so I mean you just kind of lose some of that information the older the case becomes,” Daniel said.
Neither is Daphine, who dropped off some things to her son one day in Lizella at work and never heard from him again.
“No I’m not going to give up. You can’t give up. You need to know where your children are. If one is gone, you just have to wait,” she said.
Daphine bought a grave and marker for Jimmy.
Macon Regional Crimestoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for any information in this case.
If you know what happened to Jimmy, call the G.B.I. Perry Office at (478) 987-4545.