Suspect arrested in investigation of missing Opelika man’s remains found in Alex City

45-year-old Ricky Montel Johnson was reported missing on Oct. 12. He was last seen leaving his residence on Brannon Avenue in Opelika. His remains were found in Alexander City on Oct. 15.
Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 6:32 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - The Opelika Police Department is currently assisting Alexander City officials with an investigation.

Opelika authorities were contacted by the Alexander City Police Department regarding remains that were located within their jurisdiction on October 15. According to officials, the remains are believed to be 45-year-old Ricky Montel Johnson.

Officials say Johnson was last seen leaving his house on Brannon Avenue in Opelika on Oct. 12 in his gray 2010 Nissan Altima - traveling in an unknown direction. A family friend also says he was a caretaker to his elderly mother.

Johnson’s body was found three days later in Alexander City, Alabama. The Alexander City Police Department says the man was identified as Johnson, but the cause of death is still undetermined.

“Once we got the anonymous call, officers went over, and we did find the body in the back of a residential industry. An investigation was pursued at that moment and foul play was determined.”

Investigators say that stab wounds were discovered on the victim’s body, and one arrest has been made. 31-year-old Richardeon Davis appeared to recently have been seen with Johnson, making him a suspect. Police were led to an abandoned residence on Henry Street.

“We were able to identify an individual that he was acquainted with. Subsequently, the suspect was arrested. THe suspect, we do know he lived at this abandoned residence on Henry Street.”

The reason for Johnson to have driven to Alex City has not been uncovered yet, but many family members and close friends in Opelika are mourning. Close family friend Shaffieka Wallace says family is the best way to describe Johnson.

“Family is just what he was. He loved his family. His mother, Jean, as you can see where we are now. His mom actually lives right down the road. This is just real devastating. And I really can’t even put into words. But I can say, Rick will be very, very missed,” said Wallace.

Though Johnson is gone, Wallace says their friends and family are holding on to each other, and they have hope that they’ll see him again.

“To be absent from the body is to be present with God. He’s definitely going to be missed, and I extend my prayers to his family. And he has so many friends and so many family that are pouring right now. We all have to hold on to each other, and keep each other lifted up. Because that’s what Rick would want. He’d want us to do that,” said Wallace.

The investigation is ongoing, and the body has been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact Alexander City police at 256-234-3421 or the Opelika Police Department Detective Division at 334-705-5220.