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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

April 21, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Bank robber who killed himself in Oregon remains a mystery

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Photos of Joseph Thomas Johnston taken in 2012, 2010 and 2007.

Law enforcement officials in Oregon are hoping someone will recognize this bank robber and provide information on his background.

The man, identified as Joseph Thomas Johnston, 71, fatally shot himself on April 10 after robbing a bank in Ontario, Ore. Johnston was pulled over by police after the robbery and shot himself on the side of a road south of Ontario, according to Oregon State Police (OSP).

“Investigators have  exhausted all available means to try and find relatives and is asking the public for information to help find next of kin,” OSP says in a news release.

Johnston’s last known residence was in Mohave Valley, Ariz., where he reportedly lived alone in a mobile home park. He left his home on March 1 in his 1987 Dodge pickup and drove to an unknown location in the Pacific Northwest to see a friend named “Paul,” who was reported ill and being cared for by the friend’s daughter, according to OSP.

Johnston was diabetic, police say. His pickup contained 10 oxygen tanks which he used to help him with personal medical problems.

He was described as white, 5-feet-10 and 200 pounds, with gray hair.

He reportedly had ties to Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, Maryland and Florida.

Anyone with information on Johnston’s relatives is asked to call OSP Detective Javier Marquez at 541-889-6469, ext. 752; or email Javier.marquez@state.or.us.

| More in The Blotter | Topics: Ontario, Oregon State Police, shooting


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