FAIRFIELD, Ohio - The Fairfield Police Department says the creek behind an apartment complex on Pleasant Avenue is a constant concern. With decades of underbrush growth and honeysuckle, it makes the area easy to hide.
Two people were murdered near the creek earlier this year: a 19-year-old Fairfield man and 15-year-old Fairfield girl.
The body of Chelsea Johnson, 15, was discovered in April near the creek behind Brookfield Drive near Pleasant Avenue. Johnson had been stabbed to death.
In August, Joseph Oakley, 19, was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds.
The city with the help of property managers of Creekside Village of Fairfield apartments plan to begin clean up by the start of November in hopes of preventing similar crimes.
Phil Johnson, whose granddaughter was found in the creek, thinks the clean up is a long time coming. Johnson lives in Indiana but knows by word of mouth how much of a concern the creek is for residents.
“That should have been done years ago because that’s a local hangout for dope. That should have been cleared out that way they couldn’t have gotten down there to do whatever they wanted to do without being seen,” Johnson said.
Chelsea Johnson’s family held a candle light vigil to mark six months since the day her body was found.
The victim's mother, Vickie Fible, held back her tears while talking to 9 News.
“Please don’t forget. I want everyone to remember the happy thoughts. That Chelsea is funny or always making you laugh,” Fible said.
The hardest thing Fible says she is dealing with is not knowing who killed her daughter.
“Its just a matter of time now that It’s going to come out and I’ll finally have some closure. But I’ll never have my back so it’ll never be the same. Christmas, birthday’s nothing,” she said.
Family and friends dressed in Chelsea’s favorite color released purple balloons in her honor. While the community effort to clean up the creek is a step in the right direction, Chelsea’s mother wished it would have been done a lot sooner. “I’m hoping a lot of people show up and hopefully we won’t have any more babies or anyone else being murdered or taken,” said Fible.
Police are looking for volunteers to help clean up the creek, as well as food and equipment donations. Contact the Fairfield Police Department at (513) 896-8268 for more information.
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