On a cold and foggy December night in 1992, Johanna Young, 14, left her Watton, Norfolk, England, home around 7:30 p.m. and disappeared two days before Christmas. A few people saw Johanna in the town center between 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
When Johanna did not return home by 6 a.m., her parents called the police. Her parents believed Johanna had stayed the night with her boyfriend, Ryan Firman, due to the weather.
Three days after she vanished, a walker found Johanna’s shoes in a bush on Griston Road on Boxing Day (December 26) and contacted police, who searched that area. Later that day, they found Johanna’s body was found in a water-filled marl pit about 125 yards from where the walker found her shoes. Johanna was naked from the waist down and had scratches on her body.
An autopsy revealed Johanna died from drowning and a skull fracture. There was no evidence of a sexual assault.
In 1993, police received a postcard from an unknown sender, possibly telling of Johanna’s fate.
Despite a major investigation in 1993 and a reexamination of the case in 2014, no one has been arrested and charged in Johanna’s death.
In 2014, two men – one in his 40s and the other in his 30s – were taken in for questioning after the police received a tip that Johanna was talking to a man on a motorcycle the night she disappeared. However, the men were released and did not face charges.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I’ve read nothing about whether or not she had visited her boyfriend. However, I found an article written in 1993 by Nick Davies and published in Options Magazine. It’s fascinating and explains that Johanna and Ryan had broken up before December 23 and that another local could have been responsible for her death – an older, bad boy who had a crush on her.
Davies reported the police theorized Johanna returned to this boy’s home, and something ensued, which angered him. He knocked her over, causing her to hit her head, rendering her unconscious. The boy believed her to be dead and hid the body in a panicked state of mind. He probably had help from a friend. I’m assuming these two are probably the two men arrested in 2014.
This scenario makes sense to me. Before I even read Davies’ article, I didn’t believe it was an actual murder. There was no sexual assault, so that wasn’t a motive. She wasn’t robbed. So, it had to be more personal. I thought it was the boyfriend, but what Davies wrote makes much more sense overall.
If that’s what happened, the police know about the circumstances and the young man’s identity but have no proof; thus, there is no arrest. And the people of Watton aren’t talking even though they may know what happened. Yeah, let’s protect who killed this girl instead of making someone take responsibility for it. Smh. People amaze me.
As long as these people keep their mouths shut, there will be no justice for Johanna. Someone still needs to be held responsible, regardless of the circumstances.