Remains found on Winnipeg riverbank identified as June Christine Johnson

WARNING: This story contains graphic content.

June Christine Johnson was full of love and laughter, but that exuberance was cut short by addiction, her family says. 

Johnson, 40, was identified on Wednesday as the woman whose dismembered remains were found near the Red River in Winnipeg’s South Point Douglas neighbourhood last month.

Her death has been deemed a homicide but no arrests have been made. Sgt. Wade McDonald of the Winnipeg police homicide unit would not say if all of Johnson’s remains have been recovered.

He would also not comment on the exact cause of death “due to the sensitive nature.”

Johnson’s family has asked for privacy but provided a statement that was read by McDonald.

“Prior to her addiction, June was a loving, devoted mom who loved her children deeply. She loved hard and family was of great importance to her,” it said.

“June had a great sense of humour, was very outgoing, and we are going to cherish our good times and memories with her. Sadly, addiction took over all aspects of her life, and we lost her in this very tragic way.”

A woman with shoulder-length, wavy hair wears a pink hooded sweatshirt.
Police ask the public to share any details about Johnson’s whereabouts or people she interacted with between February and April 2023. This is a photo of her from late October or early November 2022. (Submitted by Winnipeg Police Service)

Johnson’s remains were found April 15 near Curtis Street and Higgins Avenue. Curtis is a short street that runs to the river, where it connects with a recreational path that links up with Waterfront Drive.

Police tape also blocked a large section of Waterfront in the days after the discovery.

On April 18, police said the death was a homicide but they did not know her identity at the time and asked the public for help.

Numerous tips came in, which helped police identify Johnson.

In the last month, investigators have confirmed Johnson was last seen in February 2023 in downtown Winnipeg, an area where she spent a lot of time, accessing the services of various community organizations, McDonald said.

Asked if police think the homicide might be linked to other investigations, McDonald said “we’re treating this as a standalone event.”

Less than two weeks after Johnson’s remains were found, and only about a block away, the burned remains of another person were discovered.

That man, who remains unidentified, was located April 27 near MacDonald Avenue and Gomez Street. He was missing his upper teeth, similar to Johnson, who was missing both her upper and lower teeth.

Tyrus Mann, 23, was charged earlier this month with second-degree murder in connection with the man’s death but is not considered a suspect in Johnson’s killing.

“They’re not related in any form,” McDonald said about the two cases.

Police are still asking the public for information about Johnson’s whereabouts or people she interacted with between February and April. Tips can be made to the homicide unit at 204-986-6508 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).