Man Facing Murder Charge for Allegedly Killing Missing Arizona Woman He Met Through Dating Website
Authorities have formally charged a 25-year-old man with the murder of a missing Arizona woman whom he’d met through an online dating service, PEOPLE confirms.
Angela Russo, 24, was last seen alive on April 19, according to police, who tell PEOPLE her remains were recovered days ago from a shallow grave that had been dug in Tonopah, a desert-enclosed town in Arizona’s Maricopa County.
Lashawn Johnson was charged with her death on Sunday. He remains in police custody, according to a department spokesman.
Johnson was already in jail on unrelated charges when the new counts were filed against him. He is being held on an unspecified amount of bail.
Relatives told investigators that Russo met Johnson on an online dating site, and that the two had arranged to meet in Phoenix just prior to her disappearance.
In a statement posted to Facebook, Russo’s family expressed relief in the wake of Johnson’s arrest.
“While the arrest of Lashawn Johnson by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office provides some relief and closure, the family has suffered greatly since Angela went missing on April 19th,” the statement reads.
“The family is grateful for the generous outpouring of love and support for Angela and the family. They request that their privacy be respected during this time of mourning,” the statement adds. “The family continues to work closely with law enforcement and prosecuting officials as they work to effect justice.”