Arrests made in disappearance of Tempe auto body shop owner - East Valley Tribune: Public Safety

Arrests made in disappearance of Tempe auto body shop owner

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Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012 2:49 pm | Updated: 2:57 pm, Thu Sep 20, 2012.

The co-owner of a Tempe auto body repair shop and his wife are facing murder and hindering charges after being arrested in connection to what officers believe is the homicide of Jason Johnson, the other co-owner of the business who was reported missing earlier this week.

Chad Norris, 33, co-owner of Scottsdale Auto Collision Center in Tempe, and Tamara Norris, 31, were arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and felony hindering, respectively in connection to the case on Thursday, Tempe police announced soon after making the arrests.

On Monday, a missing persons report was filed with Tempe police after it was reported that Johnson, 45, had not been seen since approximately 6 p.m. Sept. 14 at his auto body repair shop near Priest Drive and Elliot Road in Tempe

Detectives contacted several employees at the business during the course of follow-up on the missing persons report and during questioning, detectives acquired information about a confrontation that happened between Johnson and Chad Norris. After Chad and Tamara Norris were contacted about the disappearance of Johnson, neither one of them were willing to cooperate with authorities, according to Tempe police.

Detectives then conducted surveillance on the Norrises based on the evidence that they were involved with Johnson’s disappearance. Later that day, detectives observed suspicious activity from the couple that led them to believe they were attempting to cover up a crime. The Norrises were observed leaving their residence with a box trailer attached to the rear of an SUV. The couple then drove to an area in Phoenix where they abandoned the trailer, police said.

A canine cadaver dog was deployed by detectives, and alerted on the trailer. Detectives then obtained a search warrant. The search revealed what detectives believe to be a homicide scene. Blood was located inside the trailer along with spent shell casings from a firearm and a wallet that contained Johnson’s Arizona driver’s license, according to police.

Investigators believe that Johnson was killed and his body hidden in an unknown location and have yet to find his body.

The Tempe Police Department is seeking the public’s help with any information that would lead to Johnson’s whereabouts.

Anyone with information can call the Tempe Police Department’s non-emergency line at (480) 350-8311 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377.


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