Covington Purse Snatching Death Linked to Other Crimes

- Disturbing new details emerged Thursday in the death of a Covington woman who was run over during a purse snatching. Police believe this isn’t the first time the suspect has hurt someone during a robbery as their investigation expands to include two more states.

Covington Police said they have tied the man and woman caught on surveillance video at the local Walmart to a similar robbery in South Carolina on Nov. 12. Police in St. George believe the same couple approached a 75-year-old woman and tried to rob her in the parking lot of a Family Dollar store. They even pulled out a gun, pointing it at the woman when she fought back. The gun jammed leaving the woman injured, but able to tell her story to police.

Down the road, police said the wanted man using the woman’s credit cards at a Walmart. His image was caught on camera. They are hoping the public can identify him better with the new images.

"We feel really good about the suspects in South Carolina because of the physical description, the car description," said Covington Police spokesperson Captain Craig Treadwell.

Investigators are concerned that these dangerous individuals may be on a multi-state crime spree.

Just across the Georgia line, in Chattanooga, officers are distributing flyers of the couple. That is where someone found a bank card on Tuesday that belonged to Marsha Johnson, the woman killed at the Covington Walmart.

"No one has named a suspect at this time, that's why we're in Tennessee distributing those flyers. We feel like somebody in that area knows these suspects and they'll know them on site from either our composite drawings or the photographs from St. George," said Capt. Treadwell.

Investigators are following several leads, but still hope anyone who recognizes them will tip police off before the couple strike again.

Hunt for Man Who Killed Woman in Parking Lot over Purse

The family of a Covington woman killed during a robbery in a shopping center is speaking out.

Covington Police hope surveillance video will help them find the man accused of running over 65-year-old Marsha Johnson. It happened at the Walmart on Industrial Way on Monday evening. Police said a man tried to snatch Johnson' s purse, but she held on to it. Surveillance cameras captured the man dragging Johnson behind his car where she was knocked to the ground.

Johnson's niece, Nancy Allen, said the family is devastated. "One of the biggest shocks that has ever happened to our family," said Allen.

A witness tried to stop the man from leaving by blocking in the car. Police said the man responded by running over Johnson again. She later died.

FOX 5 News spoke with the man who tried to help late this afternoon. He asked not to be identified fearing for his safety, "You know you did wrong you need to turn yourself in. As I know the family is going through a lot. You need to turn yourself in and just make everything easy for everybody."

Allen said her aunt lost her husband to illness earlier this year. "We're a big family and we're a close family and so when news came we all rushed to the hospital hoping for the best," said Allen.

The suspect is described by police as being Hispanic, heavy set, weighing between 250 and 300 pounds with a dark black goatee and black hoodie. He was driving a late 1990s Honda Accord, possibly silver in color, without a visible tag. Police said there was a woman in the front passenger seat.

Allen is praying for a quick arrest. "I hope they catch him as quick as they can and I live to see the day that justice is done," said Allen.

"Keep giving us the information that you're giving us and  we'll keep running our leads down until we make an arrest in the case," said Capt. Craig Treadwell, Covington Police Department. "Somebody knows this individual that we've been putting out into the news media and we need those  people to contact us and give us the information.  We need a name on our suspect and we need to know where he is at."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Covington Police Department at 770-786-7605.

A GoFundMe account has been set up by Johnson's family to help pay for memorial expenses.

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