Police appeal to public for help in solving young man's death

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Orlando police say they don't have any leads in the slaying of Joshua Johnson.

The 18-year-old was kidnapped in August a few blocks from his home near John Young Parkway and Interstate 4.

His body was later found in a vacant home, nine miles away.

The case has been frustrating, detectives at the Orlando Police Department said.

Johnson's family said it has been heartbreaking for them.

On Wednesday, they made a public appeal, asking anyone who might know something to do the right thing.

"It is very hard. It's is very, very, very hard," said Patricia Davis, Johnson's grandmother.

Every Wednesday is a reminder of the day Davis said goodbye to her grandson, and never saw him again.

"I just keep waiting for him to come in the door, and knowing he's not going to come in the door. Sometimes I stay up at night waiting for him," said Davis.

It was one month ago when Johnson was seen arguing with some men a few blocks from his grandmother's home. Witnesses said he was thrown into a van, and the group took off.

Police found Johnson's burned body the next day.

Detectives said the case has run cold, and they are now getting help from clergy to send the message that talking to police helps families who are suffering.

"I don't care if it's your family member, your mother, your brother, your cousin. Come forward. Because if you don't, you are a part of the problem and not the solution," said Bishop Kelvin Cobaris of Empowerment Ministries Church.

Davis said she's sure the answer to why her grandson was killed is probably just a few minutes' walk from her home, in her own neighborhood.

"People back there know what went on, and know how it went down, but they may be scared or they won't say. They won't open their mouths up. But I'm praying that God will allow them to open their mouths and tell what they know," said Davis.

To fight the mentality that it's wrong to snitch, the family wants to host a rally with other families who've lost loved ones.

They said the goal is to stop the violence and get justice.