NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The suspect in the death of a woman who was found lifeless inside a Norfolk home Saturday morning has been identified as the man whose body was found in the Lafayette River Sunday.
Officers responded to the 1000 block of Holt Street after a person called police saying a body was found inside a residence. The body was identified as Shadosha Johnson, and police began investigating her death as a homicide.
Monday, detectives identified a suspect as 44-year-old Jeffry Watkins, who was found dead after drowning early Sunday morning.
Chris Amos with Norfolk Police said the Medical Examiner’s office ruled the drowning accidental. He said Watkins and Johnson were in a relationship, and Johnson wanted to end the relationship. Investigators say an altercation ensued and Watkins killed Johnson.
Tuesday, the Medical Examiner's Office told WAVY News' Anne McNamara the manner of death was a suicide.
Investigators said Johnson was the mother of the young girl found inside the home. Johnson's aunt told WAVY.com she had a 4-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son.
"She would always say, 'Hey Aunt Sonja, I love you.' And I would tell her I love her too," said Sonja Johnson, Johnson's aunt.
Sonja Johnson said she saw her niece Friday night, and then got a phone call Saturday morning that she was dead.
Sonja Johnson said what is even more excruciating than losing her niece is the possibility that Johnson's 4-year-old daughter may have seen her mother's death.
Family members told WAVY's Lauren Compton that Johnson's 9-year-old son was at his father's house Friday night.
Family members believe whoever did this had to be someone Johnson knew, someone who took away a woman they say had so much joy.
"She was a lovable person, she gave anything to anybody," Sonja Johnson said. "She was always happy and laughing."
Stay with WAVY.com and WAVY News 10 on the air for updates as they become available.
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