Joshua Johnson Colorado Springs Walgreens employee kills Riley Whitelaw teen co worker after rejecting his advances. Became jealous when her boyfriend began working at the store.
Joshua Johnson, 28, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Riley Whitelaw on Saturday, KKTV reported.
A store manager found Whitelaw’s body in the break room of the store on Centennial Boulevard in Colorado Springs shortly before 7 p.m. Management had gone looking for the teen girl after Whitely had failed to return from a break.
Whitelaw ‘had suffered significant trauma to her neck area,’ according to an arrest affidavit. ‘There was a large amount of blood on the floor around the head of the victim.’
Police found her ID badge and a radio earpiece near her feet, officials said.
Rest In Peace to my amazing friend Riley Whitelaw(bottom left). She was my first friend at air academy and she made me feel extremely happy with the fact that I would eventually make friends at aahs. She was a strong young woman who was talented in multiple ways pic.twitter.com/3DdNqNHPX6
— Gurrt (@Gurrt12) June 15, 2022
‘I fell in blood…’
A customer returned to the scene when officers were at the store. She told police she heard a woman screaming and possible slamming of doors when at the store before 6 p.m.
The cause of death had yet to be determined, cops said.
On the day of the killing, Johnson was caught on surveillance video stacking bins in front of the camera to block its view and taping paper over windows, the affidavit states.
Another manager said that while they were looking for Whitelaw, she checked outside by a dumpster and smelled a ‘strong odor of bleach’ according to the affidavit.
‘She attempted to open the door and heard a male voice saying he was changing,’ the document says.
Johnson was later stopped by state troopers as he walked along Interstate 25, where he was found with scratches on his face and hands, officials said.
He told troopers he had been attacked at the Walgreens in Colorado Springs, Sgt. Troy Kessler of the Colorado State Patrol told KKTV. In an interview with investigators, he said he ‘fell in the blood’ and went home to change.
Teen victim’s boyfriend had just begun working at store
In what may have triggered the attack, Johnson ‘showed sign’ of becoming jealous when Whitelaw’s boyfriend got a job at the same Walgreens location.
Johnson later ‘admitted at one time he had a crush on Riley. He stated he no longer had a crush on her because he was intimate’ with one of the managers, who did not mention a relationship with him during an interview with police.
Of note, the female worker’s murder comes about a year after she had complained to managers that Johnson had made her uncomfortable. Whitelaw requested to work different shifts than Johnson, which management accommodated. But when the teen asked for more hours, her bosses warned her that it would mean working with Johnson.
Managers told police she agreed to that.