Cold Cases

Duck Hit and Run Fatality:

Duck PD reported a Hit and Run Fatality on October 13th, 2010, around 7:30 PM. The female victim was struck and killed by a vehicle on Cook Drive.  The striking vehicle was last known to be traveling west on Cook Drive toward NC 12 (area of the Blue Point Bar and Grille). The vehicle is described as silver or grey with possible damage to the right and front end of the vehicle.  Anybody with information about this incident is strongly urged to contact Duck PD directly at (252) 261-1112.  Anonymous tips may also be sent to Crime Line by phone (252) 473-3111 or the tip sheet provided under “anonymous tips” button above.


Crime Line Cold Case Files – Denise Johnson Case

July 13th, 2012 marks the 15th year of the investigation into the murder of Denise Johnson. The Kill Devil Hills Police Department remains committed to discovering the identity of the killer and bringing him or her to justice. This press release is meant to serve as a recap of the investigation, introducing the facts to those unfamiliar with the incident and refreshing the memories of those who already are. No lead is too minor, no detail too small for the investigators to pursue, and if anyone has information about this case, they are urged to come forward.

On July 13, 1997, the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department responded to a house fire in the 2000 block of Norfolk Street. Firefighters discovered the body of a woman, 33-year-old Denise Johnson, inside the residence and removed her in an attempt to resuscitate her. Once outside the residence it was discovered that Johnson had not succumbed to smoke or fire alone, rather that she’d also been stabbed. According to the state’s final autopsy report, she’d been stabbed in the neck and there were additional wounds on her body to indicate Johnson had fought for her life. She succumbed to a combination of exsanguination and smoke inhalation. No alcohol or drugs were in Johnson’s system and there was no evidence of a sexual assault.

Fifty-nine individual items of evidence were collected from the scene. The aid of the FBI was enlisted to create a criminal profile of the killer. The State Bureau of Investigation assisted in the processing of the crime scene. One of the questions that remains unanswered in this case is who Denise Johnson was with earlier in the evening on the night she died. She was last seen at a convenience store near Avalon Drive accompanied by a female described as young, blond, and between 5’5” and 5’10”. That woman has never come forward or been positively identified.

The Police Department encourages anyone with any information about this case to contact Sgt. J.C. Towler at (252) 449-5337. Anonymous tips may also be submitted through Crime Line by using the online form or the anonymous tip line at 252-473-3111 or 800-745-2746. Denise Johnson’s family and friends deserve answers as to why their loved one was taken from them before her time.


Denise’s friends and family have contributed to a reward fund that now exceeds $5,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of Denise’s killer.  This reward would be in addition to the reward from Crime Line of $1000.