KITTERY, Maine — For the first time in 38 years, the Kittery Police Department announced, it is opening up the file to a 1983 missing person cold case that was never previously revealed to the public.
Reeves K. Johnson III, then age 31, went missing sometime after returning to his Kittery home from his job as a welder for Donnelly Manufacturing in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Feb. 3, 1983. In the weeks following Johnson’s disappearance, his bank account was drained and his home emptied of valuables. His mother also caught an unknown man taking Reeves’ mail from his post office box. She took a photo of him, but he hid his face with his hand, avoiding being captured on film. This mysterious photo has never been publicized before.
Last month, after years of inactivity, Kittery police detective Brian Cummer decided to officially reinvigorate the case with the hope that the public will be able to help bring the surviving Johnson family answers as to what really happened to their brother.
To help get the word out, Kittery PD has teamed up with local Maine true crime podcast, "Murder, She Told," created and hosted by Kristen Seavey. In early November, Seavey spent time with the Kittery Police Department, and with the permission from the Kittery chief of police and immediate family, was given access to all files regarding this cold case. Additionally, Seavey has met with Reeves’ brother, Hugh Johnson, his sister Sally, and her husband David Swartz, as well as Detective Brian Cummer.
A special episode of the podcast titled MISSING: Where is Reeves K. Johnson III? is available now.
“My hope is that by hearing the full, un-redacted story, it will spark memories that could help fill in the gaps and bring in new information to the Kittery PD. They’re working with very limited information, and need the public’s help to connect the dots.” Seavey said.
“My gut tells me that somebody is responsible for Reeves’ disappearance, and the family just wants to know what happened and where he’s at so they can put him to rest where he belongs with his mom and dad.” Cummer told Seavey.
“On behalf of the Kittery Police Department and the Town of Kittery I would like to thank Kristen Seavey for the work that she has done on the Reeves Johnson case," Kittery Police Chief Robert Richter said in a prepared statement. "The Kittery Police Department views this as an opportunity to reinvigorate the investigation in hopes of providing answers for the family of Reeves Johnson. We support the work that Kristen has done for the victims and their families throughout Maine and New England.
Richter urged residents to share the podcast
"If you have any information, even if you think it is insignificant, contact Detective Brian Cummer at the Kittery Police Department," the chief said. He also said tips can be reported anonymously to Seacoast Crime Stoppers at 207-439-1199 or at seacoastcrimestoppers.com/submit-a-tip.
To hear the episode and learn more about Reeves Johnson’s case, visit murdershetold.com/episodes/reeves-johnson.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Kittery ME police on 'Murder, She Told" podcast on Reeves Johnson case