Lowndes County deputies have arrested a fourth suspect in the murder of a Columbus man who has been missing for almost a year.
Javaris Decedric Johnson, 36, of Columbus, has been charged with murder in the suspected death of James Ryan Taylor, Sheriff Eddie Hawkins confirmed to The Dispatch on Monday.
Johnson is the third suspect charged with murder in Taylor’s death, with a fourth suspect charged with accessory after the fact. Investigators still have not found Taylor’s body, but Hawkins previously told The Dispatch they are still piecing together how Taylor was killed and are hopeful they will recover his remains.
Taylor’s family reported him missing to Columbus Police Department on July 14, 2020. At the time, authorities reported they were searching for him in the area of The Island near downtown Columbus, the last place witnesses reported seeing Taylor.
Johnson is also charged with several drug counts, three counts of possession of weapon by a felon and violation of parole. Hawkins said he is on probation out of DeSoto County for a drug charge.
Also charged with murder in the case are Joseph Lane Purcell, 29, and Allan Michael Farley, 27. Deborah Johnston, 55, was charged with accessory after the fact. They were arrested last week.
Johnson is currently in custody at Lowndes County Adult Detention Center with no bond on the murder charge.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call LCSO at 662-328-6788 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 800-530-7151 or leave a tip for law enforcement on the P3 phone application.