Personal effects discovered in 1970 murder case file

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -Faye Johnson was just 21 years old when she was shot and killed by Harvey Dale Bray. Her murder left her 18-month-old infant motherless. Faye’s belongings, which were collected as evidence, have sat in a box for fifty-two years, and now will be returned to her daughter.

Francine Howard, who is now in her 50s, was shocked to discover the truth of her mothers’ death but is grateful to have her mother’s belongings.

“She’d been told believe it or not she was somewhere between like twelve months old and like three years old. She didn’t even know how old she was when this happened, so that’s how little about the case she knew. So, this will give her an absolute one hundred percent facts, that she can use to close out her own mom’s death fifty years later,” said Capt. Tony Harrison, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

For about seven months, the Pennington Sheriff’s Office has been working to digitize all of their old case files.

When they got to Johnson’s file, they made a shocking discovery -- some personal effects. It was a moment Rhoda Bohn (bone), one of the computer techs, says it was rewarding.

“It feels a little rewarding to be able to give something to somebody who is so excited and overwhelmed to have something that she never even knew existed you know to have never know your mother and to actually get some of her property back after all these years, I think that’s pretty cool,” said Rhonda Bohn, a computer tech with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

Some of the belongings include photos of both Faye and Francine, an address book, and a personal letter about the single mom’s life that was addressed to Faye’s parents.

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