Crime and Safety

Beloved bookstore owner found dead in creek, employee charged with murder

The beloved owner of a popular Atlanta bookstore has been found dead in a creek, and one of her employees, a former boyfriend, has been charged with her kidnapping and murder.

The body of Erica Atkins, a 42-year-old mother of two and owner of Birdsong Books in Henry County, was discovered by a fisherman in Cedar Creek in Putnam County around 1:15 p.m. Monday, the local Henry County Sheriff’s Office said. socket 11 is live.

Atkins, who went missing on Sunday, was found about an hour from the bookstore. Police said they believe she was killed in Henry County and then her body was dumped in neighboring Putnam County.

Its employee, Romero Johnson, 38, was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of Atkins, police said.

Beloved bookstore owner found dead in creek, employee charged with murder
Atkins was allegedly abducted and killed by Johnson, who worked at her bookstore in a suburb of Atlanta.
Erica Atkins/Facebook

Romero Johnson
Johnson, 38, has been charged with kidnapping and murder.
Henry County Sheriff

Atkins and Johnson also previously dated before she ended the relationship, the father of her youngest child told Fox 5 Atlanta.

Atkins’ death shocked the local community. An impromptu flower monument was erected in front of the Locust Grove bookstore.

“I still have nausea in my stomach, in my head. I just keep thinking about her,” Atkins’ girlfriend Shanna Amoah told 11Alive.

“It just blew me away. All in all, it shocked me beyond measure. I was just completely devastated,” Amoah said.

Erica Atkins
Atkins was found dead in a creek about an hour from her bookstore in Locust Grove.
Erica Atkins/Facebook

Erica Atkins and Romero Johnson
Romero Johnson and Erica Atkins.
Erica Atkins/Facebook

Amoah said Atkins was a beloved “pillar” of the community and had just won the Small Business of the Year award from the local chamber of commerce.

“Erica was a busy woman. She was determined to help her community. She donated books – she donated her time. In fact, last year she came to my summer camp and read to my kids – donated her time there,” Amoah said.

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