Charges Yet to Be Filed in Possible Davis Homicide Case


The Yolo County DA’s office has not filed charges against John Paul Johnson in connection with the death of Crystal Marie Apodaca, found dead by police on Friday morning in her apartment.  The DA is, according to sources, waiting until they learn the cause of death.

In the meantime, Mr. Johnson is being held on a violation of probation charge.  The DA’s office told other publications they are continuing their investigation and are not prepared at this time to file charges.

The coroner’s office on Tuesday did identify the woman as Crystal Apodaca, in her thirties.  Police found her dead on Friday morning at her residence at the Pacifico Cooperative Community in South Davis.

At approximately 9:00 a.m., Davis Police officers responded to the Pacifico Cooperative housing located at 1752 Drew Circle in Davis after a deceased female in her 30’s was located inside her room.

Based on initial observations, the responding officers quickly considered the death and attendant circumstances to be suspicious in nature, warranting a homicide investigation.

Mr. Johnson was arrested at 3 pm on Friday on homicide charges related to the death.

The Davis Enterprise interviewed Mr. Johnson at the jail and he told the paper that he and the victim were using methamphetamine in his room when she overdosed.  He told the paper that the victim had used more meth than usual and began flailing about.  Eventually both Mr. Johnson and the victim passed out.

“When I woke up she was dead, stiff and cold,” Mr. Johnson told the paper. “It’s so sad, someone that you love, who is so warm. It was ugly.”

He then moved her back to her room, stating that he had panicked, rather than calling the police right away.

Mr. Johnson will remain in custody for a few months related to a March 1 probation violation for possessing meth.

While the coroner’s office performed an autopsy on Monday, officials are awaiting for the results of the toxicology report before determining the cause and manner of death.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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23 thoughts on “Charges Yet to Be Filed in Possible Davis Homicide Case”

        1. Keith O

          David, the fact that the DA hasn’t rushed in to charge the guy I think says a lot.  There were other people involved and don’t you think that their stories must of collaborated with what Johnson had to say or he would’ve been charged?

          I happen to believe Johnson’s story in this case but I’m not willing to call him totally innocent or call it a murder until all the facts are out.  Maybe everyone should do the same.

        2. David Greenwald

          The DA needs to know cause of death at this point, I think they are wise to hold off on charges until they find out.  I’ve heard enough to believe that murder charges will be coming once that is established, but we’ll find out.

        3. Keith O

          Well if you’re privy to inside information than maybe you’re right but so far I’ve seen nothing in the articles I’ve read to call it a murder.

        4. David Greenwald

          That is correct, what has been printed in the paper so far has not contained information that would lead one to believe there was a homicide

        5. David Greenwald

          Because I asked off the record.  As much as I might question the police, they aren’t going to arrest someone on homicide charges in a case of overdose, even if they were stupid and moved the body.

  1. Howard P

    Lets see… old information was, “Details are sparse at the moment,”, and, “Based on initial observations, the responding officers quickly considered the death and attendant circumstances to be suspicious in nature, warranting a homicide investigation.”  Yet, the headline was “murder”

    But, I realize “murder” is easier to type, uses less ink than “suspicious death”… got it…

    1. David Greenwald

      He was arrested and charged with a homicide by the police.  What I would suggest is that police provide more details in these reports.

  2. Mike Valenzuela

    Crystal is my sister and we as a family are still trying to figure out what happened……it is tragic what happened.


    i think that if he gave her drugs and watched her have an overdose and then moved her body  then ran away….doesn’t that make him guilty?


    and if you are doing meth you dont pass out and sleep you stay awake……and tweek… the whole thing dont make any sence….

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Hi Mike,

      Like Don I thank you for posting and sorry for the grief your family is enduring. I hope there are answers that come to light soon.

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