VACAVILLE, Calif – Update Jan 2017: Marvin Markle Jr., convicted of murdering Shirley Ann Pratt in 2001 (shown above left) has recently been charged with 35 year-cold murder of Vacaville teen Deanna Lynn Johnson in 1982 (shown above middle). See both stories below.
BIGGS, Calif.- Shirley Ann Pratt, a 41 year old, vibrant resident of Butte County was last seen leaving her home, birth certificate in hand, to collect a substantial amount of money she had won at an Oroville casino. Later that evening she was seen at a gas station in Gridley. Shirley was said to have been accompanied by a man with dark hair, a mustache and goatee.
Shirley Pratt was never seen alive again.
Unfortunately, a lucky $19,000 jackpot that should have been a blessing to Shirley, may have become the motive behind what happened to her that terrible night.
SHIRLEY ANN PRATT BODY FOUND – On October 12, 2001, a fisherman on his way to the Oroville Wildlife Area in Biggs, was shocked to discover the lifeless body of a woman lying in the road near the park entrance at Vance Avenue. Sadly, the body was later identified as Shirley Ann Pratt, mother of three and beloved friend. Shirley had been shot between the eyes.
BUTTE COUNTY HOMICIDE – Butte County investigators were called to the scene. It would take 12 years of relentless investigation before charges would be brought against Shirley’s killer. Evidently, the suspect had always been a person of interest in the case. However, due to advances in DNA testing, a recent match was made.
MARKLE CHARGED WITH MURDER – Finally, on July 18, 2013, Marvin Ray Markle, Jr., a 47 year old Biggs resident and well known acquaintance of Shirley was arrested and charged with her murder.
Markle pleaded “Not Guilty” to all charges.
MARKLE CONVICTED OF 2001 PRATT MURDER
MARVIN MARKLE JR. – Markle is also a person of interest in an unsolved homicide that occurred in Vacaville 35 years ago when he was just 17 years old. On November 15, 1982, 14 year old, Deanna Lynn Johnson (shown below) went missing from a high school party in her own neighborhood. Her parents contacted police that evening when Deanna Lynn failed to return home with her older brother. The next morning, two railroad employees made a horrifying discovery, it was Deanna Lynn Johnson. Her cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head.
DEANNA LYNN JOHNSON – Although many suspects were interviewed, no single person emerged as Deanna Lynn’s killer, rather, it appears that Marvin Markle, Jr, also known as “Ziggy”at the time, was one of several party goers that may have been involved. Police have since concentrated their investigation on three particular suspects, Markle being one of them. It has long been believed that many of the kids in attendance that night knew what happened to Deanna Lynn, but were unwilling to come forward. In 1982, DNA collection and testing had not yet become what it is today, and without any physical evidence, Deanna Lynn’s murder has gone unsolved.
Investigators hope that Markle’s prosecution in Butte County will help spur on new information in the 1982 homicide of Deanna Lynn Johnson. With a $50,000 reward offered, it is anticipated that witnesses who may have been reluctant before, will finally come forward allowing True California Justice for Deanna Lynn Johnson, whose beautiful life was taken at such a tender age.
VACAVILLE POLICE – If you have any information relating to the murder of Deanna Lynn Johnson in 1982, please contact Vacaville Police Lt. Matt Lyndon at 707-449-5236.
BUTTE CO. SHERIFF – Any information relating to the murder of Shirley Ann Pratt can be directed to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at 530-538-7434.
TRUE CRIME CALIFORNIA – Deepest sympathy and comfort to the family members of both Shirley Ann Pratt and Deanna Lynn Johnson. May the full weight of Justice fall on the shoulders of those responsible.
True Love Never Dies.
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
MARKLE CHARGED WITH MURDER OF DEANNA LYNN JOHNSON AFTER 35 YEARS.