Body of Bookstore Owner Found in a Creek, Ex-Boyfriend and Employee Charged With Kidnapping and Murder

Erica Atkins smiling in selfie
Facebook/Erica Atkins

“Outside of reading, she loves traveling, exercising, playing the piano, but above all she loves helping people in her community,” the bookstore website described owner Erica Atkins.

The ex-boyfriend and employee of a Georgia bookstore owner has been arrested and charged with his ex’s death after she was found dead in a creek on Sunday.

The body of Erica Atkins, 42, was found by a fisherman in a creek in Putnam County, Georgia, according to WSB-TV

Atkins was the owner of My Birdsong Books, in Locust Grove, Georgia. The company website described her as “an advocate of reading, learning, and educating people of all walks of life,” and was “an avid reader, tutor, teacher, professor, trainer, and now bookstore owner.”

Locust Grove Police told WSB-TV that they have arrested and charged Romero Johnson for Atkins' death.

Johnson was Atkins' ex-boyfriend and an employee at the bookstore, according to WSB-TV. The victim's family told the news source Johnson worked with Atkins the weekend she went missing. 

Cameras in the area allegedly spotted Johnson at Atkins’ residence during the time that police say she was first reported missing, according to Atlanta News First

Footage also showed the suspect grab a sheet or plastic lining from Atkins' residence, Atlanta News First reported. Atkins was later found by the fisherman on Saturday, said the news source.

“It’s just a sad situation she would trust someone in her home that would do something like this to her,” Locust Grove Police Chief Derrick Austin told WSB-TV.

Johnson is currently being held in the Henry County Jail on possible kidnapping and murder charges, according to WSB-TV.

Johnson has not entered plea and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 31, the Henry County District Attorney's Office told Inside Edition Digital. 

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