Colorado Man Allegedly Kills Teen Coworker In Break Room After She Rejected His Advances
Riley Whitelaw, 17, had previously expressed concerns about her 28-year-old coworker Joshua Johnson, whom she said made her feel uncomfortable.
On the evening of June 11, 2022, Justin Zunino, a manager of a Walgreens in Colorado Springs, called 911 after finding a teenage worker’s dead body and blood all over the store’s break room.
Police soon arrived on the scene, and the probable cause affidavit stated that patrol officers “located the body of a female on the floor of the employee breakroom. The female had suffered significant trauma to her neck area. There was a large amount of blood on the floor around the head of the victim. There were significant blood stains on the floor, cabinets, and counter of the break room.”
Riley Whitelaw, 17, was initially noted as missing by another manager when she didn’t return from her break at around 5:30 p.m. Zunino then reviewed surveillance footage before checking the break room where he found Whitelaw’s body. He recognized her immediately.
On the surveillance footage, Zunino noticed another employee, Joshua Johnson, stacking bins in front of surveillance cameras until the view of the camera was blocked. It was also noticed that someone had taped paper over the breakroom windows and put up a “Closed” sign in the area to keep people out.
About a year before this, Whitelaw had complained about 28-year-old Joshua Johnson because he had made unwelcome advances towards her, reported Newsweek. She reported that it made her uncomfortable. Back then, Zunino warned Johnson to keep things professional, and it seemed that Johnson agreed to do as he was asked.
Then, several weeks before her murder, Whitelaw requested a different work schedule from Johnson since he made her feel uncomfortable. However, when she asked to work additional hours, she was told that she would need to work with Johnson again.
The Denver Post reported that Johnson was arrested on suspicion of murdering Riley Whitelaw. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder and remains in custody at the El Paso County jail on a no-bond hold. If found guilty of first-degree murder, Johnson will be given a mandatory sentence of life in prison.