Friend will always remember 18-year-old 'with a smile'

Remains of Corbin Johnson discovered year after his disappearance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police are asking for information about the murder of an 18-year-old whose remains were found in a wooded area of Northwest Jacksonville, about a year after his disappearance.

Corbin Johnson was last seen in July 2018. His parents said he disappeared following a job interview. A man was clearing land off Utsey Road when he discovered the remains on Thursday.

Johnson's close friend, Jahrekka Sims, told News4Jax this was not the outcome she and others expected.

"I always had hoped that he would come back home. I just never knew it would end like this," Sims said.

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Sims said she talked to Johnson the night he disappeared. She said nothing seemed out of the ordinary during their last conversation.

Johnson, who Sims considers a little brother, said he was always fun to be around.

"I'm just going to always remember Corbin with a smile," Sims said.

 News4Jax stopped by Johnson's home. A family member said learning about the remains was a lot to take in and process. 

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who is a 24-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, said confirming an identity is typically not a quick process. In this case, it took investigators four days to release Johnson's name to the public.

"Something triggered the identity of this particular victim," Jefferson said. "We don't know what investigators found, and rightfully so. They are going to keep that close to the vest because they don't want to reveal how they know who this victim is, because it could interrupt their investigation."

Sims told News4Jax she hopes whoever is responsible comes forward to police.

Anyone with information about the disappearance or murder of Johnson is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.​

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