Suspect arrested in killing of local woman

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published November 29, 2018

 Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson

HAZEL PARK — Police believe that they have found the individual responsible for the recent death of a Hazel Park woman.

Christopher Johnson, 39, was arraigned Nov. 19 in Hazel Park 43rd District Court before Magistrate James Paterson on a charge of first-degree murder, which is a felony punishable by up to life in prison. His attorney, Scott Kozak, did not return calls seeking comment by press time.

Johnson is the brother of the boyfriend of Susan Victoria Kelley, 24, and he occasionally stayed at the duplex home of Kelley and her boyfriend, located in the 1700 block of East Elza Avenue, near Eight Mile Road, in Hazel Park.

On Nov. 7, around 1 a.m., Kelley was found dead at her home from blunt force trauma to her head and face, in what has been ruled a homicide by the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office.

At press time, testing continued to see if there was anything else that contributed to her death.

Police investigated the scene all day with help from the crime lab at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities had been called there by another resident who lives at the home.

Kelley was the mother of an 11-month-old girl, who is now living with other family members.

Witnesses told police that in recent weeks they had heard heated arguments around the home, and that the arguments had appeared to be increasing in frequency. Police said that the suspect had been asked to leave the home, which reportedly led to more fighting.

Johnson was arrested without incident at the residence, and was held on outstanding charges prior to receiving the warrant.

Hazel Park Police Chief Brian Buchholz lamented the loss of life and the fact that a baby girl is going to grow up without her mother. He previously said that his detectives have been working extended hours piecing together what happened and why.

“The investigation is still ongoing as we examine and wait on further results from all evidence,” Buchholz said. “Even though we have the (first-degree murder) charge, we are still actively investigating this case.”

If you know more about this case or others, call  the Hazel Park Police Department at (248) 542-6161.