Davidson Co. man accused of failing to report father’s death, disposing of body in 2007

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Davidson County man has been charged with failing to report his father's death in 2007.

Deputies received a call on Wednesday to check the welfare of Walter Henry Johnston.

They responded to 180 Wicker Drive where the Johnston, 66, reportedly lived with his son.

After a joint investigation with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, it was discovered that Johnston's son failed to report his father's death back in 2007.

Gregory Johnston

Gregory Johnston

According to Sheriff Grice, the man's son, Gregory Lane Johnston, wrapped his father's remains in a tarp and dropped the body off N.C. 62 and U.S. 421 in Guilford County.

The body was eventually found, but an identity was not initially determined. Unable to conduct a full autopsy, officials ruled it an "undetermined death."

The son told deputies that he failed to report his father's death because he wanted to collect social security and retirement checks. He also said that he didn't want to go to jail or lose the house on Whicker Drive.

Johnston was charged with failing to report a death and placed in the Davidson County Jail under a $1,000,000 secured bond.

Additional charges may be pending.

The investigation is ongoing at this time.


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