Kerry Johnson, age 17, has been missing since September of 1982.

Some sources state she is missing from Salem, OR, others state she is missing from Reno, NV.

From piecing together information available on different sites, I believe the scenario to be this:

Kerry left her Salem, OR home, with plans to hitchhike to Reno, NV to visit family members.  She made it there, and after her visit, planned to hitchhike to San Jose, CA, to visit friends.  It seems she contacted her family by phone while she was in San Jose, and this is the last time anyone has heard from Kerry.   She stated that she was going to hitchhike home, and expected to be back by October 1 of that year.  Some reports state that she’d said she planned to hitchhike back to Reno, NV before heading home, although that seems unlikely.

Kerry was known to have been carrying a blue suitcase, but other than that, not much is known.   Her law enforcement file was lost many years ago, and they have only recently gotten back in touch with her family members to attempt to recreate it.

It seems that at some point, she was being considered as a Green River Serial Killer victim, and her file was sent to Washington – but they claimed they never got it.

Unless there is more to Kerry’s case that has not been publicized, I am a bit baffled as to why she would have been thought of as a possible Green River victim.  As far as I can tell, she was not into prostitution, which was the main link between the Green River victims.  I also don’t see anything indicating she was in Washington State at all.

Since Kerry’s file has apparently been lost for ages, it is unlikely that anyone will remember the dates and details from that fall of 1982.  Where in San Jose was she?  Had she told anyone what route she had planned to take going home?  Did she actually state that she was going to go back to Reno before going home?  Did she leave with the blue suitcase?

Some have suggested a possible connection with the disappearance of Sherry Eyerly, who was presumably abducted from Salem, OR in July of 1982.   This is possible, if Kerry did indeed make it back to Salem.  I think it is possible that she did, if she had intended to go straight home from San Jose.  But if she really was going to head back to Nevada before going home, I think she would have contacted her family once she made it to Nevada, if she did indeed make it there.

I wish we could find out some more about her activity in the days leading up to her disappearance.  It’s such a shame that the files have been lost.  As it stands now, there are so many places where she could be.

Come home soon, Kerry.


The Charley Project

Salem News




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