Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Des Moines in Polk CountyDes Moines in Polk County

Shawna Marie Johnson


Shawna Marie Johnson
2 years old (24 mos.)
1336 18th St.
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Case # 1972-2562
January 4, 1972

Two-year-old Shawna Marie Johnson died in Des Moines on Tuesday, January 4, 1972.

Other details of her death aren’t quite so clear.

1336-18th-St-Des-MoinesCourtesy photo Google
Shawna Johnson sustained her injuries at this 1336 18th St. home in Des Moines.

In the toddler’s obituary — published Thursday, January 6, 1972 in the Des Moines Register — the family stated the child died of diabetes at Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines.

Des Moines police investigators, however, classified Shawna’s death as a homicide, and cited the crime location as 1336 18th St. in Des Moines.

The little girl lived with her mother and four siblings at 1407 18th St. in Des Moines at the time of her death. The family — who’d previously been living in California — had lived in Des Moines for just over a year.

Four decades after the tot’s death, her case remains listed as unsolved with the Des Moines Police Department.

About Shawna Johnson
Shawna JohnsonCourtesy photo Katie Lou, findagrave.com
Shawna Johnson, who was born in San Bernardino, Calif., died Jan. 4, 1972, and was buried at the Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines. She was two years and two months old.

Shawna Marie Johnson was born October 10, 1969, in San Bernardino, Calif., to LeRoy and Nevha Johnson. Graveside services were held at 10 a.m. Friday, January 7, 1972, at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines where Shawna was buried.

Survivors included her mother, Mrs. Nevha Johnson of 1407 18th St., Des Moines, and her father, LeRoy Johnson, of San Bernardino; a sister, Angela, and three brothers, Danial, Christopher, and Phillip, all at home; and a paternal grandmother, Mrs. Okrita Johnson of Ottumwa.

Shawna’s mother passed away in 2006.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Shawna Johnson’s unsolved homicide please contact the Des Moines Police Department Detective Bureau at (515) 283-4864.

If you have any details about Shawna Johnson’s life or photos you’d like to contribute for her case summary page on Iowa Cold Cases, please email them to info@iowacoldcases.org. Full photo credit will be given unless anonymity is requested.


2 Responses to Shawna Johnson

  1. andrea says:

    The siblings are Danial (not Daniel) Johnson, Angela, Christopher and Phillip. Could the DM police interview them now regarding what went on in the home?

  2. andrea says:

    Her mother died in 2006 so there will likely never be any justice.

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