Cary murder victim's friend reacts to her death

The suspect in a murder in that took the life of 58-year-old Wendy Johnson faced a judge Monday in a Wake County courtroom.
Monday, August 25, 2014
The suspect in a murder in that took the life of 58-year-old Wendy Johnson faced a judge Monday in a Wake County courtroom.

Daniel Remington, 36, is charged with Johnson's murder. Cary police say the deadly shooting happened Friday night around 11 p.m. in Cary at a parking lot at the Hyde Park Court Apartments. Remington was arrested early Sunday morning in Fayetteville.

For the first time since the shooting, ABC11 is learning more about the victim. Johnson's loved ones say she was a nurse who loved helping people, she loved her family and, above all, she loved her faith.

"My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of the Heaven and Earth," said friend of Johnson, Nancy Williams, who read words from the Bible which she said makes her think of her friend.

Williams knew Johnson through their church, New Hope Baptist Church in Sanford, and through Johnson's daughter, who is her neighbor.

"Let your gentleness be the evidence to all the Lord is near," read Williams, "when I read this I want this man to know that Wendy would not have ever harmed him. So why did he have to harm her?"

Cary police say they believe Remington shot and killed the 58-year-old nurse from Sanford. The apartments in Cary where it happened are about 45 minutes from Johnson's home. She was only there to go to work.

"She works the night shift on the weekends so that she can be available to her family during the week," said Williams.

Johnson was a nurse to a special needs child by night. By day, she cared for her grandchildren as well as her own special needs son, Richie. He's now 13 years old, but Johnson adopted him when he was a little boy in Jamaica through one of her many missionary trips.

"Going back and forth to Jamaica, she fell in love with Richie and knew there was a need and knew God would help her meet the needs for Richie. So she couldn't help but bring him home and to love him," said Williams, who also said this crime was random, "A random act of violence that took away a beautiful woman way too soon."

She said police told her and Johnson's family that Johnson's purse was missing.

Williams and the family are overcome with the senselessness of the crime. They are upset and angry but said they are trying to get through this the way they believe Johnson would want them to.

"If she could communicate with us from heaven, she would say to forgive him," said Williams.

Williams said she and Johnson's family are not there yet, but until they are, they'll lean on the memory of the mother, grandmother, and friend they loved, as well as their faith.

Johnson's boss, David Totaro - the Chief Marketing Officer with BAYADA Home Health Care - issued a statement following the incident that read in part, "She was a highly respected, valued LPN and loved by all of the many clients she served for BAYADA for the past three years. We are glad to learn that the police have arrested a suspect and hope this will begin to bring some closure to those close to Wendy."

"It was heartbreaking. You know, I just hope that the family is able to find closure. We've been there for our nurses," said Jennifer Broderick, Johnson's employer. "Wendy has touched a lot of nurse's lives on top of clients and we're just trying to do the best we can to support everybody."

Funeral arrangements are pending and may be finalized Tuesday. The victim's family has set up a website to memorialize her and raise money for expenses.

Meanwhile, authorities in Cary are still not saying whether Remington knew Johnson.

Remington remains held without bond with a September court date.

This wasn't the first time he had been in court. ABC11 has learned he has a long rap sheet that includes mostly breaking and entering charges, although he was convicted 15 years ago of assault on a female and assault by pointing a gun.

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