Murder of Erica Green

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Erica Green
Precious Doe.jpg
Image of Erica Green (left) compared to a facial reconstruction created in effort to identify her
Born Erica Michelle Marie Green
(1997-05-15)May 15, 1997[1]
McLoud, Oklahoma, U.S.[2]
Died April 28, 2001 (aged 3)[3][4]
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.[5]
Cause of death Homicide
Body discovered On April 28, 2001 (body)
May 1, 2001 (head)[3]
Resting place Memorial Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.[1]
Nationality American
Known for Murder victim
Parent(s) Michelle M. Johnson (mother),
Larry Green (father),
Harrell Johnson (stepfather)
Relatives Jasmine (sibling), L'Kaila (sibling), Elisha (sibling), Larry Jr. (sibling)[6]

Erica Michelle Marie Green (May 15, 1997 – April 28, 2001) was a three-year-old murder victim discovered on April 28, 2001, in Kansas City, Missouri, who remained unidentified (and known as Precious Doe) until May 5, 2005. The girl had been murdered and decapitated (between 12 and 48 hours prior to discovery).[3][4] The body was naked and the head was wrapped in a trash bag and dumped nearby. The brutality of the crime, and the fact that the child went unidentified for a long period, sparked national interest.[7] In an effort to identify the girl, police released sketches, computerized likenesses, and at least two busts depicting the victim.[8]


On April 28, 2001, Erica's body was found, missing the head, near Hibbs Park at 59th Street and Kensington Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri. The young girl's head was found approximately 150 to 200 yards southeast of the body recovery site on May 1, 2001.[3] It was determined that she had been beaten with an ashtray (which was found with the body, but lacked DNA or fingerprints), and kicked several times, causing brutal injuries all over her body. Autopsy reports showed that the girl was alive when she was decapitated.

Media appearances[edit]

The case was featured on the TV programs America's Most Wanted[9][10] and Cold Case Files several times.[11]


On May 5, 2005, the body was identified as Erica Green, age three,[12] and her mother Michelle Johnson (also known as Michelle Pierce) and stepfather Harrell Johnson were charged with her murder and extradited from Oklahoma to face charges in Missouri.[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 have said that Erica died when Harrell Johnson used hedge clippers to sever her head.[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. ^ a b Murder of Erica Green at Find a Grave
  2. ^ Cosgrove-Mather, Bootie (2005-05-10). "Precious Doe Born In Prison". CBS News. 
  3. ^ a b c d Infolope: Murdered victim - Precious Doe
  4. ^ a b "2 Charged With Murder In 'Precious Doe' Slaying". KMBC. May 5, 2005. 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. May 6, 2005. Authorities said the little girl was killed in Kansas City, where the family had been staying with friends or family. 
  6. ^ Meadows, Bob (May 23, 2005). "Who Was Precious Doe? A Mystery Solved". People. 63 (20). 
  7. ^ Goldblatt, Jeff (2002-08-08). "Slain Mystery Girl Brings Community Together". FOX News Network. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Police Release New Bust Of 'Precious Doe'". KMBC-TV ( 2003-09-19. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  9. ^ "Harrell Johnson (Suspected Precious Doe Killer)". America's Most Wanted. Twentieth Century Fox Film. 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  10. ^ "Michelle Johnson (Suspected Precious Doe Killer)". America's Most Wanted. Twentieth Century Fox Film. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  11. ^ "INSPIRED STORY 1: Hour 60 - Precious Doe". 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. ^ Associated Press (2005-05-10). "Okla. Never Monitored 'Precious Doe' Case". Calkins Media. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  15. ^ Associated Press (2005-12-03). "Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty in 'Precious Doe' Case". FOX News Network. 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 Apr 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. ^ Associated Press (2008-10-22). "‘Precious Doe’ mother gets 25 years". Muskogee Phoenix. 

External links[edit]