IOSCO COUNTY, Mich. (TCD) -- A 22-year-old woman accused of fatally stabbing her 3-year-old daughter and leaving her body in a trash bag reportedly told investigators SpongeBob SquarePants said to kill her.
According to WJRT-TV, officers from the Oscoda Township Police Department went to Justine Johnson’s home on Sept. 29, 2021, when Johnson’s brother reportedly saw a human foot protruding from a trash bag. When they arrived at the residence on Cedar Lake Road, they found her little girl, who they believed had been stabbed to death. Officers reportedly located Johnson over four hours later walking by a railroad track.
WNEM-TV identified Johnson’s daughter as Sutton Mosser, who turned 3 just two days before she was killed. Sutton was reportedly wrapped in bedding inside the trash bag and was only wearing a diaper.
Ryan Eberline, an investigator with Child Protective Services, reportedly testified that Johnson told him she "didn’t remember the specifics of what happened" to her daughter. He said Johnson "was experiencing hallucinations due to heroin withdrawal and not sleeping for approximately two weeks."
Iosco County Prosecutor Jim Bacarella said during a Feb. 4 preliminary hearing, "She said that the television, specifically SpongeBob, told her she had to do this to the child or she would be killed," according to WJRT. She was deemed competent to stand trial.
CNN, which cites a police report, says Johnson used cocaine the day she allegedly killed Sutton. Johnson pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse. She is being held without bond in the Iosco County Jail.