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Murder of Erica Green

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Erica Green
Image of Erica Green (left) compared to a facial reconstruction created in effort to identify her
Erica Michelle Marie Green

(1997-05-15)May 15, 1997[1]
DiedApril 28, 2001(2001-04-28) (aged 3)[3][4]
Body discoveredOn April 28, 2001 (body)
May 1, 2001 (head)[3]
Resting placeMemorial Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.[6]

Erica Michelle Marie Green (May 15, 1997 – April 28, 2001), also known as Precious Doe, was an American three-year-old girl who was murdered in Kansas City, Missouri, in April 2001. Green's decapitated body was discovered on April 28, 2001, and her head was found nearby on May 1, but remained unidentified until May 5, 2005.[3][4] Green's murder attracted significant media and public attention due to the brutality of the crime and the lengthy period without identification.[7]

In 2008, Green's mother and step-father were convicted for her murder.


On April 28, 2001, the decapitated body of a young African-American girl was found near Hibbs Park at 59th Street and Kensington Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri. On May 1, 2001, the young girl's head was found wrapped in a trash bag approximately 150 to 200 yards southeast of the body discovery site.[3] Investigators determined that she had been beaten with an ashtray found with the body and kicked several times, causing extensive injuries throughout her body, and then decapitated in an effort to keep police from being able to identify the body. The ashtray lacked DNA or fingerprints, and the unidentified girl was known by the multiple-use name Precious Doe, which was used in public broadcasts in an effort to identify her.

Media appearances[edit]

The brutality of the crime, and the fact that Green went unidentified for a long period, sparked nationwide interest in an effort to identify her. Police released sketches, computerized facial reconstructions, and at least two busts.[7][8] The case was featured on the TV programs America's Most Wanted and Cold Case Files several times.[9][10][11]


On May 5, 2005, Precious Doe was identified as Erica Green, a three-year-old from Oklahoma. Her mother, Michelle Johnson (also known as Michelle Pierce), and her stepfather, Harrell Johnson, were charged with murder and extradited from Oklahoma to face charges in Missouri.[12][13] Michelle Johnson's eight other children were taken into state custody or placed with relatives.[14] On December 3, 2005, prosecutors announced that they would seek the death penalty against Erica's stepfather, Harrell Johnson.[15] Police stated that Erica had died when Johnson had used a pair of hedge clippers to sever her head after she had been brutally beaten.[16] Johnson's cousin, Lawanda Driskell, said that Erica's mother helped Harrell dispose of the body by taking Erica from the house as if sleeping in a stroller and telling Driskell she had given Erica to the woman who had raised her while Johnson was in prison.[16]


On October 8, 2008, Harrell Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.[17] On October 22, 2008, Michelle Johnson was sentenced to 25 years in prison, in exchange for her 2007 guilty plea to second-degree murder and testimony against her husband.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lawsuit blames Oklahoma officials for 'Precious Doe' murder. The Oklahoman
  2. ^ Cosgrove-Mather, Bootie (2005-05-10). "Precious Doe Born In Prison". CBS News.
  3. ^ a b c d Infolope: Murdered victim - Precious Doe knowledgecash.com.
  4. ^ a b "2 Charged With Murder In 'Precious Doe' Slaying". KMBC. May 5, 2005. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. ...one night late in April 2001...She was left on the floor for two days.
  5. ^ "Tipster Tricked Precious Doe Suspect Into Providing Hair Sample". Kansas City News. KMBC.com. May 6, 2005. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Authorities said the little girl was killed in Kansas City, where the family had been staying with friends or family.
  6. ^ The Kansas City Star
  7. ^ a b Goldblatt, Jeff (2002-08-08). "Slain Mystery Girl Brings Community Together". FOX News Network. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  8. ^ "Police Release New Bust Of 'Precious Doe'". KMBC-TV (TheKansasCityChannel.com). 2003-09-19. Archived from the original on 2005-12-04. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  9. ^ "Harrell Johnson (Suspected Precious Doe Killer)". America's Most Wanted. Twentieth Century Fox Film. 2005-05-05. Archived from the original on 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  10. ^ "Michelle Johnson (Suspected Precious Doe Killer)". America's Most Wanted. Twentieth Century Fox Film. 2005-05-04. Archived from the original on 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  11. ^ "INSPIRED STORY 1: Hour 60 - Precious Doe". AETV.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
  12. ^ "Charges In 'Precious Doe' Case". CBS Broadcasting. 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  13. ^ "Mother, stepfather charged in 'Precious Doe' killing". Cable News Network. 2005-05-06. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  14. ^ "Okla. Never Monitored 'Precious Doe' Case". phillyBurbs.com. Calkins Media. Associated Press. 2005-05-10. Archived from the original on 2005-11-07. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  15. ^ "Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty in 'Precious Doe' Case". FOX News Network. Associated Press. 2005-12-03. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  16. ^ a b Duarte Jr, Hector (2005-05-07). "Cousin of Harrell Johnson Details Final Days Of Precious Doe". All Headline News. Archived from the original on April 22, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  17. ^ Gross, Andale (October 8, 2008). "Man Convicted of Murder in Mo. 'Precious Doe' Case". Associated Press, via Fox News. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
  18. ^ "'Precious Doe' mother gets 25 years". Muskogee Phoenix. Associated Press. 2008-10-22.

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