Death shocks community: Johnson was ‘always smiling,' ‘a good worker and a great friend'
Friends and acquaintances were still in shock on Tuesday over the death of postal worker Concepcion "C.B." Johnson, 51, whose body was found Thursday in a drainage ditch west of Colusa.
Lt. Shane Maxey, with the Colusa County Sheriff's Department, called the death suspicious and said no arrests had been made as of early Tuesday.
"The investigation is still ongoing," Maxey said.
Johnson was remembered for her constant smile behind the post office's counter and for her helpfulness. A co-worker who declined to be identified said, "She was a good worker and a great friend."
"I've been here 14 years, and she was always the smiling face behind the counter ... It's always difficult when there is a death, but when you know someone personally, that's the hard part," Gary Teragawa said on Tuesday.
"I'm sort of just in shock. She was a regular customer at (my) bowling alley, in addition to always seeing her at the post office," said Mike Wilkinson, who described Johnson as a sweet, always-smiling lady whom he considered a friend.
Johnson was last seen on the evening of Nov. 10, and concern was raised when she did not show up for work last week. Colusa police said she was last seen alive at a restaurant, and Johnson's family members said she was seen leaving Rocco's Bar with a man who later came back alone.
Police went to Johnson's Colusa home on Nov. 12 and found her vehicle parked on the curb. Family members said her wallet, cellphone and keys were found in her house.
A tip led authorities to her body west of Colusa on Thursday. A dive team from the Sheriff's Department found her body in a canal off of Lurline Road, about two miles west of Colusa.
An autopsy was conducted, and the results may not be available for three months, Maxey said previously.
A neighbor and friend remembered Johnson fondly.
"She was someone that everyone always knew as being positive and in a good mood," said Rusty Chambers. "Very rarely saw any negative emotions out of her. Always there to help someone when they needed it.
"Everyone knew her, knew of her. She was the one person in the Post Office who, when you went in there, you hoped she was there. I have known her for 10 years," he said. "No matter where I saw her, she was a very fun, outgoing person. She's just a very sweet lady.
"She lived right here behind me. She bought a house down the alley from me. I heard from other neighbors of hers that she would bake stuff and take it over to their houses," Chambers said. "When you walk into a business and see someone like Connie standing there, it's welcoming. If she knew you, she would say something to you every time she saw you.
"It shook the whole community. She worked at the one place where everybody goes, from young to old. She's just someone that everyone is going to miss. I walked into the Post Office the other day and couldn't even look over at her counter," Chambers said.
CONTACT reporter Brian Pearson at 713-9519.