Search crews continue searching for Benny Johnston - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Search crews continue searching for Benny Johnston

Benny Johnston (Photo source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Benny Johnston (Photo source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

By Jessica Bowman – email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Search crews are continuing their search for missing person Benny Johnston. The 25-year-old Biloxi resident was beaten Thursday night at a home in the Crown Hill Commons subdivision, off Three Rivers Road in Gulfport.

Two suspects remain in custody at the Harrison County jail and are charged with aggravated assault. Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said they are treating the case as a homicide.

Sheriff Brisolara said deputies are investigating every lead they have received.

"Nobody knows where he's at," Kevin Cruse said. "We'd just like to find him."

Cruse is Benny Johnston's stepfather. He said the Sheriff's Department has been flying a helicopter above and around their property off Hudson Krohn Road for hours.

"One of the suspects, who was in Ridgeland hitch hiking for some strange reason, decided to turn himself in said that they had, after they beat Benny up they put him in the back of the van, dropped him off in our front yard and took off."

Cruse said there is no evidence that Johnston was ever in their yard or around their property the night of the beating.

"It's just not looking good not looking very good," said Kevin Cruse.

Family members said they received a phone call late Thursday night after the beating happened.

"My wife came in and said, 'Kevin, you need to get up.' Somebody called. My wife said the girl called them, and said they was beating him with a bat and they was going to kill him."

Cruse said he and his wife immediately drove to the home where the assault took place.

Johnston's family said investigators believe his body is in a ten mile radius of where the beating took place. So, family members and close friends continue to search in areas near the Biloxi River where they believe Johnston could be.

Johnston's older brother, Michael, said the family is offering a $1,500 reward to anyone who has information to help find Benny Johnston's body.

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