Man eyed in parents’ disappearance also linked to 2018 case


PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — A Portage man considered a person of interest after his parents disappeared is also a person of interest in a 2018 missing persons case, police say.

Bonifacio Miguel Pena, 17, of Gobles, vanished May 19, 2018, in Portage, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. He was last seen leaving a friend’s house, allegedly getting into the car with some other unknown individuals.

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office says it is still actively investigating.

Portage Department of Public Safety Director Nicholas Armold confirmed to News 8 Friday that Nicholas Johnson is a person of interest in the Pena case.

“The connection that we know if is that Nick Johnson was certainly a person of interest in that case and is still a person of interest in that case,” Armold said.

A booking photo of Nicholas Johnson from the Kalamazoo County Jail. (Feb. 9, 2021)

Johnson, 27, already behind bars on unrelated weapons charges, was also named a person of interest after his parents Gary and Laura Johnson went missing.

When police went to Gary and Laura Johnson’s Portage home Tuesday, they say they found “signs of violence.” On Friday, crews looking for the Johnsons started digging in the Gourdneck State Game Area, only a few miles from the couple’s home. There, they found two bodies, though the remains have not yet been identified.

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