HOCKING: On March 30, 2022, at approximately 3:45pm the Hocking County 911 Center received a call reporting the discovery of a deceased male in the Hocking River near Nelsonville. Individuals who were kayaking down the Hocking River located the male and reported the discovery to 911.
Due to the location being very close to the Hocking and Athens County line, the information was relayed to the Athens County 911 Center and deputies from both Athens and Hocking County responded to the scene.
On Thursday April 7, 2022, law enforcement was notified by the Athens County Coroner that the body had been positively identified as Derek Johnson, age 39 of Nelsonville. Sheriff Smith advised
“Johnson was reported missing on January 25, 2022 and was last seen near his home on Laurel Run Road in Hocking County.” His family last saw him on January 19, 2022, walking away from his residence on Laurel Run Road, towards the City of Nelsonville.
This investigation is being handled by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Hocking County Sheriff’s Office, and the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.