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The original item was published from 12/21/2016 4:13:56 PM to 12/29/2016 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: December 21, 2016

[ARCHIVED] 35-year-old cold case homicide solved

Daniel Johnston Indictment.jpg

NORFOLK, VA. (NPD) – The Norfolk Police Department announces a significant development in a cold case homicide and takes one step closer to justice for the victim and her family.

On September 5, 1981, Donna K. Walker, 20, was found deceased by her father inside her apartment located at 7911 Redmon Road. Walker’s death was ruled a homicide. Norfolk police detectives used every means available to them at the time to investigate Ms. Walker’s death; however, they were unable to develop a suspect.

In 2013, the Norfolk Police Department’s Cold Case Unit initiated a review of the case. Detectives re-examined all forensic evidence and contacted potential witnesses. After an extensive three year investigation, a suspect was developed and positively identified as Daniel Joseph Johnston, who was 31-years-old at the time of Walker’s murder. Johnston lived in the Harbor North apartment complex located at 4506 E. Ocean View Avenue and was known to work at local funeral homes and cemeteries.

Today, the Norfolk Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office sought an indictment during the Grand Jury meeting in Norfolk Circuit Court. The Grand Jury returned a true bill, successfully indicting Daniel J. Johnston (now 66) with one count of First Degree Murder in the death of Donna Walker.

Johnston is currently being held at the Elmira Correctional Facility in New York for unrelated charges and awaits extradition to Virginia.

The Norfolk Police Department Cold Case Unit is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of justice. Each and every re-opened homicide is thoroughly reviewed for potential leads and new evidence that can shed light on closure for the victims of violent crime and the families left behind. As such, the murder investigation of Donna Walker remains ongoing. Detectives encourage anyone who may have known or worked with either Donna Walker or Daniel Johnston to call the Norfolk Cold Case Unit at 757-664-7137 or the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

Photo courtesy (NPD): Daniel J. Johnston, age 31 at time of incident (Pictured Left) and Donna K. Walker, 20 (Pictured Right)

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