VANISHED: Ara Denise Johnson

Vanished

UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KETK) Ms. Ara Denise Johnson has been missing since 1986.

She went missing from Big Sandy at the age of 5. Currently, she would be 38.

Ara was last seen in her bedroom at her own house in Big Sandy on April 2, 1986 at about 1 a.m.

Her parents discovered the back door to the residence standing open and Ara missing at approximately 6:30 a.m.

Her orange bedspread was also missing.

There was no forced entry, no subjects were developed and there was no indication there were any strangers around.

Investigators have always believed the person responsible knew the girl’s family and their habits.

In 2007, authorities identified David Elliot Penton as a person of interest, not just in Ara’s disappearance, but the disappearances and murders of several other young girls, including Amber Crum and Angelica Gandara.

Penton has been incarcerated in an Ohio prison since 1987, for the death of his infant son and the murders of three Texas girls.

Penton’s cellmates went to investigators and claimed he had implicated himself in the disappearances of Ara, Amber and Angelica.

He has not been charged in connection with any of these disappearances, however.

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