By Lyra Bordelon
Alderson native Michael Wayne Smith was recently arrest on first degree murder charges in Kanawha County for allegedly confessing to the murder of Cheyenne Johnson.
According to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, Cheyenne Johnson was reported missing in Jackson County, last seen on Thursday, April 29, near Cottageville. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office then “received a tip from someone who said they overheard others talking about her murder.”
Deputies from Kanawha County and Jackson County followed the tip to the 1200 block of Birtton Ridge Road, where Smith was located.
“He admitted to killing Cheyenne Johnson and dumping her body into a nearby deep water well,” reads the press release. “He was arrested for first degree murder.”
Initially, a body was located inside of the well allegedly described by Smith.
“Investigators from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Kanawha County Emergency Management, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of West Virginia, and United Diving” then “recovered and identified” the body “through tattoos as belonging to Cheyenne Johnson. Additional confirmation will be conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.”
According to the press release, Smith was released from jail on April 15 on parole. The release also specifies “in criminal matters the charge against Mr. Smith is merely an accusation. He is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”