Precious Doe to be reburied next week

Thursday, August 11th 2005, 2:42 pm
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The young girl long known as Precious Doe will be laid to rest for a second time next week, more than four years after her death and more than three months after police identified her.

"She was buried once without a name -- this time she'll be buried with a name," said Kansas City Police Sgt. Dave Bernard, who lead the Precious Doe investigation.

Police will rebury her next Thursday in Memorial Park Cemetery at 11 a.m.

Three-year-old Erica Michelle Green's headless body was found in a Kansas City park on April 28, 2001. Her head was found nearby days later. She was known by the community as Precious Doe until police discovered her identity in May.

Her mother, Michelle M. Johnson, 30, of Muskogee, Okla., is charged with second-degree murder in the killing. Her stepfather, Harrell Johnson, 25, also of Muskogee, is charged with first-degree murder, meaning prosecutors could seek the death penalty.

In December 2001, hundreds of mourners who never knew Erica gathered for her burial. But her body was exhumed in July 2003, and experts from Louisiana State University created a realistic bust of what the girl would have looked like. Her body has been in the Jackson County morgue since.

Erica's biological father has consented to having her buried in Kansas City, Bernard said.

Police have invited only members of the Precious Doe committee and those who worked closely on the case to the interment.