A Voice From the Grave: Justice for Johnny


A photo of Johnny Deleon from the Facebook page of Demand Justice.

The messages posted on the Demand Justice Facebook page are eerie and accusatory.


On this Facebook page and another, Justice for Johnny, the writer speaks as if they were 26-year-old Johnny Deleon. “My name is Johnny and I took a ride to Hoopa CA…Unfortunately I never returned home and will never see my 5 year old again.”

The two Facebook pages began a week ago but Deleon’s remains were found on the Hoopa Reservation March 22, 2015. His remains weren’t identified until early July.

His sister, Judy Deleon-Hill, said Deleon came to Hoopa in the fall of 2014 from the Bay Area planning to “pull some marijuana” with three others. His friends returned to the Bay Area in October but Deleon remained on the Hoopa reservation.

Though people who “rip-off” marijuana gardens are regarded with hostility by most, Johnny Deleon’s “voice” has an answer for that. A post on the Demand Justice page reads, “…YOU LEFT ME FOR DEAD IN THE WOODS, YOU LEFT ME! I WASN’T READY TO GO, I WAS ONLY 26 WITH SOME BUMPS IN THE ROAD. JUST LIKE ANY YOUNG 20 YEAR OLD I’VE HAD MY SHARE OF BAD CHOICES. IT STILL DOESN’T JUSTIFY WHY YOU KILLED ME.”

The last time the family had contact with Deleon was when he called their mother for her birthday in February of this year from the Hoopa area. Judy Deleon-Hill said during the call her brother told their mother that an “older gentleman” had left land that he wanted Deleon to look after. “My mom didn’t want to question it because he sounded happy,” said Judy Deleon-Hill. “She kinda let Johnny talk. He said, ‘I love you’ and then she never heard from Johnny again.”

Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said that though there was a suspect in the case, they were not yet ready to release the name.


Johnny Deleon with his son several years ago. [Photo from the Demand Justice page.]

The last few days, the Demand Justice page has been posting stories beyond that of Deleon’s–stories of how the justice system fails the families of those missing and stories of other men who have disappeared in the misty hills of northern California—Jeff Joseph and Shannon House.

Like the other missing, Johnny Deleon left behind family members aching to know what happened.  “I was also someone’s son, grandson, brother, and someone’s father,” posts the voice of Johnny Deleon on Demand Justice.

He left a five-year-old son who, Judy Deleon-Hill worries, will have to grow up without knowing what happened to his father.

If you have any information about this case, you can contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

“Like most homicides mine went cold,” reads a post on the Demand Justice page. “Please help my family and son get justice.”

Earlier Chapters:




  • Cold hand of justice

    Good riddance to bad rubbish!

  • Should have stayed away. Rippers suck

  • They will catch that bastard. You can’t kill someone for taking something that grows out of the ground. The plants can re-grow this person is gone now forever…. You guys are heartless

    • sharpen your pencil

      If you have bad intentions you will more than likely be met with bad intentions. Maybe the real story will be told to his 5 year old and he won’t follow in daddy’s foot steps. This p.o.s obviously didn’t give a damn about his kid or he would have gotten a job, not go ripping others off of their work. GOOD RIDDANCE!

      • His son will know what a caring, loving father he had. He clearly made some unwise choices, but those choices should not have cost his life. His son will grow to become a strong, responsible young man. Johnny was not a “p.o.s” and certainly not a thief. Do you really believe that he stayed in the area for an extended period of time and continuously ripped people off? Get real and sharpen your own pencil. Check the facts before you start trolling on the internet about a situation you don’t know about.

  • You played with fire and guess what ?

  • Going to rip-off someone’s year of work and possible source of living for the following year is a very serious insult. Johnny may have already gotten “justice”.

  • Sounds like there are three more that deserve the same.

  • Rather ironic to be calling for justice for a crop thief. Maybe if he’d have been thinking about his kid in the first place and the possible consequences of stealing someones marijuana crop, he would have gotten honest work instead.

  • I’m sorry to the family of this man!!sounds like mom knew something.Its no joke around these hills that for a very long time people dissappear.farmers don’t appreciate being ripped off of their crops,no matter the kind.thats their living,hard to understand murder thou.sad a mother lost her child and son will grow up without a father who made a very bad choice.

  • Wow! Apparently you six commenters know more about this murder than the rest of us.

    • sharpen your pencil

      Story says it all. Bay area crew comes up during harvest season to “pull Marijuana”. But winds up getting his own card pulled. Comic justice.

  • When I first clicked this, i thought it was gonna be an article about a trimmigrant or something that was found dead. after reading the first part of the story and also the comments, it is clear that this guy was trying to rip someone off, thus his murder is (in my opinion) somewhat justified. As for not seeing his 5 year old again, that sucks but at the same time it’s his fault for thinking it’s o.k. to go rob someone and not at least considering the possibility that he could be killed. hopefully his friends that were with him learned there lesson and are smart enough to not come back.

    • Maybe his friends did it! More for $ for them….I’ve heard that story before…..or how did they get away?

    • Are you people out of your minds? You have obviously never lost a family member in this manner. Try saying “he deserved it” after you walk in the shoes of the families of the missing. Nothing points to him robbing a crop… And, EVEN IF HE DID, MURDER IS NOT JUSTIFIED. Animals ..OF COURSE YOU THINK ITS OKAY TO KILL. that’s the mentality in that sick place.

  • This comes down to the all the marijuana in our county, it makes me want to leave, all this murder and thievery because of a plant. I hate the stuff truthfully. Now this is all were known for. Even the old respectable tourists come through where I work and they ask about “how they grow so much marijuana here.” It’s sad because it makes the people who work for a living look like, well, they work for a living. But the difference is I know I make an honest dollar. For me that’s everything. But for this man who came here to steal something illegal. Prolly should have just got a job, but then who knows maybe the people who were involved pressured him into it. Idk, but from the pictures he looks like a nice man. It’s a shame about the son. The kid will never know his father, and all of it is because of marijuana, and the need to make money. I guess weed doesn’t kill people all the time but the thing (money) you sell weed for, did. Thus making marijuana the thing that killed this man. I can’t see how marijuana didn’t kill this young man.

    Am I wrong?? Please correct me.

    • If I hated weed the way you say you do I sure would leave, so maybe you should leave and good riddance to you.

      • I agree. Why don’t you get the f-ck out of here because cannabis is here to stay. Beat it!

        • oooh, you and Coletta are tough guys, huh? So everyone who isn’t mesmerized by self importance at their big bad growing attitude should move? Your attitude is what is wrong with the current grow scene in Humboldt. Why don’t you move, and good riddence !!

  • Sorry to the family, majority of folks in Hoopa are concerned. Have been concerned. truth is it can happen to us or friends on our land.

    Bair road leads onto the Hoopa Rez, from Redwood Creek Valley, he was found just on Rez. I think this blog showed, the Redwood Creek area inundated with grow sites in a study. I hope law enforcement can solve this, and more information can come out.

  • In the very early 70’s, a bible-thumping berserker burned down 5 of our homes on Christmas Eve as we gathered together to share our gifts and food.
    Our own Sheriff counseled us (individually) that local law would not be able to catch him; and that a body dragged off into the woods would never be found; and that we would never see justice in any other way.
    We were young and still faithful to Peace and Love, so we didn’t take the advice. We formed patrols. Half of us guarded our remaining homes, and the other half went looking. He was eventually found, hogtied and driven to the jail where we turned him over only slightly damaged.
    Judge James Luther found him guilty of 5 counts of Arson. And, at 30 years of age, he was sentenced to live with his parents and go back to college.
    We knew that if our 5 homes had been located in Rogina Heights, he would not have seen the light of day for a long, long time.
    After the sentencing, we gathered again and those of us with The Talent laid a curse on his life he would never escape. Seven years later, a skeleton with his ID was found in the desert outside of San Bernadino. The news was expected.
    Moral of the story: What goes around, comes around. Simply, efficiently and with Justice for All. af

  • So if he was trying to steal from your house, or a business, and was killed by you, or the police, it would be justified?, But being he was stealing from a criminal (if it was an illegal grow) we should feel bad for him? I feel terrible for any family who has lost a loved one, but if you are going to put them in that situation in the first place, you are a selfish axxhole who deserves what ever you get, why the pity party? this story shouldn’t even be on here. He made his bed he can sleep in it good riddance

    • I rather like that the story is posted; as a factual idea of what might happen should you attempt a robbery of someone’s annual salary.

  • to “pull” some marijuana is a term some growers use to harvest, and why would a “older gentleman” want him to look over his property if he was a rip off? i read the article as he and his friends were going to work/pull some weed, when all was done the friends returned and ol jonny boy stayed to work some more, however i wasnt there and thats just a different angle i read…

    • I read it that way as well. Going to pull a rip and run and then deciding to stay for four or five months doesn’t make any sense to me. I think all these other indignant commenters may have interpreted the story incorrectly. Either way, it’s a sad story!

    • I was beginning to think I was only one who was seeing that. If he came here to do a quick job in Oct. why was he still here in February/March? He stayed for some reason. Also, isn’t kind of hard to rip off a crop in March?

    • Thank you because that’s exactly how I read this story. To me the term “pull”, in this context, means grow and harvest.

    • Thank you Gazoo for providing the correct information and clairification to the above idiots as to what it is “to pull”. I will assume that possibley Johnny fell in love with the area and or a resident as many hundreds of people have! He most likely was trusted by the individuals he was working for! Hopefully the investigation is concluded soon! I truly hope that Johnnys family can begin to heal and find some comfort as they have had their son, brother, fathers body returned to them!

  • Two wrongs don’t make a right. However a low life thief is a thief and he died a thief’s death period. Let it serve as a warning to other lazy thieves who might consider snaking their fellow brother/sister’s hard work. You rip somebody off, you deserve no sense of safety or justice. RIP dirt bag

    • Wouldn’t have taken his life but would have taken his hands and feet. Rape offenders should be castrated!

    • Read the story again lady. Try reading it without the presumption that this guy was a thief. I hate skumbags thieves with a passion but I’m pretty sure, based soley on what i read here, that this guy wasn’t a thief.

    • Colletta.You are a heartless, cold person. Do you even have a brain and THINK HIS FAMILY MAY BE READING THIS HURTFUL STUFF? .. I hope you never walk this road or have a family member who may make a mistake. Whether he did or not, is not even known…I suppose you and EVERYONE you know has never made a mistake .. Especially in your 20’s . You deserved to die too then I guess and your loved ones too.. But, wait, you are without mistakes in your life and so is everyone you love.. Wake up woman!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a heart.

    • Coletta you sound like your pretty cold hearted. I’m not saying this man didnt deseve it, especially if he was armed and dangerous and trying to rob someone. I just want to know? Who do you think you are to be the one to say “rip dirt bag”
      Truthfully you look sketchier than the guy in the picture lol

      PS He might not of ripped anyone off he may have been working up here. [edit]

  • I got to know Johnny while he was in Hoopa. I send my condolences to his family. My heart was heavy when the body was identified as his. He was a nice guy, I considered him a friend. It’s unfortunate that this had to happen to him. He may have took a wrong path in life and made a few bad choices but that is no reason for him to be murdered. I believe justice will be served. Remember everyone he was someone’s son, brother, Dad etc. and when it comes down to it he was an awesome guy who will surely be missed my only by his family but also by all the people he befriended while in Hoopa. Love and prayers to Johnny’s family. RIP My friend

    • It’s so refreshing to see a soft heart like yourself. Thank you for sharing your experience with Johnny. These are the kind of comments that should be shared!

    • Thank you for the kind words. It was good to hear from someone in Hoopa who knew him.

  • Coletta you sound like your pretty cold hearted. I’m not saying this man didnt deseve it, especially if he was armed and dangerous and trying to rob someone. I just want to know? Who do you think you are to be the one to say “rip dirt bag”
    Truthfully you look sketchier than the guy in the picture lol

    PS He might not of ripped anyone off he may have been working up here. Ya dip!

    • sharpen your pencil

      Only that’s not how the story played out. The real story is this scum bags “friends” that dipped out and played dumber that crap…. They likely know way more of this story than is being told.

    • Thank you, he was absolutely not a thief, he was up here working. There are few people who know what happened leading to his death, and they need to step forward and give justice to this man’s family. Coletta [edit] is acting like she knows the kind of person he was, and she knows nothing.

  • Thank you Johnny justice keep up your work at Telling it the way it Is a vessel for good truth and justice .

  • Johnny was never “armed and dangerous” Let’s get to the bottom of the story here. Johnny didn’t “deserve” to be killed! Johnny wasn’t a “dirtbag” He made some wrong choices and now he can’t make them right. RIP Johnny! My prayers go out to his parents and his child, they are the ones living this nightmare not us!

  • Wow, too much hatred from mellow pro marijuana users. No plant is worth a human life, be it a redwood tree 1,000 years old, or a garden of recreational pot. Your judgement is up in smoke. Your priorities are warped. You scare the hell out of me.
    That you think you are walking the moral high ground is inconceivable.
    Pot stunts emotional growth. The advantage that pot has over you is that it will grow up.

  • godblessalluidiots

    Ok, just to clarify this entire story. [edit] I seen that kid a lot. I worked in a public place. So I seen the crew he hung with. And when I seen him, he was pretty thin. He wasn’t making good choices and was hanging out with a tough crowd. He never stole weed. He came up to work just outside the hoopa reservation. However he bought his food and supplies in hoopa. He was trying to sell pounds for 500. Dirt.cheap. I have a feeling he was making a deal and someone took his life over it. And yes, bad things/disappearances happen in hoopa. But that happens every where. There are a lot of good people in Hoopa, and there’s allot of shit bags. But that’s everywhere. Lots of prays to the family and their loss. [edit]

    • Godblessalluidiots, please contact me at JusticeforJohnny032215@gmail, I’d like to hear more about Johnny’s life in Hoopa and his final days. Thank you!

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