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Published: Friday, 1/10/2003

Woman missing; foul play feared

BY MIKE WILKINSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Police fear foul play might have played a role in the disappearance of a 32-year-old Toledo woman.

Officers found a blood-stained mattress and a trail of blood running through Priscilla Johnson's central-city apartment Wednesday night, which prompted them to issue a call for help.

“We're not real hopeful how we're going to find her,” Lt. Rick Reed said.

After family members became worried that they hadn't heard from Ms. Johnson for more than a week, they called police and then, before police got there, entered the apartment at 1307 Avondale Ave.

They were shocked by what they found: a blood-saturated mattress, blood stains on a nearby wall, and a trail of blood that led to the back door.

Lieutenant Reed said there was “nothing significant outside” the apartment, adding that it had snowed twice since Ms. Johnson was last seen.

“I had a funny feeling then because her blinds were down,” Ms. Abdul-Malik said yesterday. The next day, her brother Wali stopped by again and the blinds were still down. When Ms. Johnson left town, she typically shut her blinds, Ms. Abdul-Malik said; when she was home, they were usually up.

Ms. Johnson stopped by the Abdul-Malik's nearby home a couple of times a week, they said. She hadn't called her mother, Essie Hickman, in Sandusky for more than a week.

“I haven't heard from my daughter and that's not like her,” Ms. Hickman said.

When Ms. Johnson was about 7, she and her brother were taken away from Ms. Hickman by Children's Services and placed in foster care. After Ms. Johnson was old enough to leave foster care, she found Ms. Hickman and remained in contact with her.

“I hope and pray that my daughter's alright,” she said.

Ms. Johnson grew up in Toledo and attended Roosevelt Revitalization and Development Corp., where she took G.E.D. classes. She has three children, all of whom were taken into the custody of Children's Services.

Lieutenant Reed asked for help in tracking down Ms. Johnson: “If anyone knows where she is, ... we would definitely like to talk to them.”

But the lieutenant said the department is cautious about what it will find.

“Right now, we fear something suspicious - that some harm has come to her,” he said.



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