Oklahoma News

April 12, 2010

Knives, rope found in car where girl's body found

— NORMAN (AP) — Authorities found three sections of rope and two knives in a car where the bodies of a missing 7-year girl and her stepfather were found, according to court documents made public Friday.

In a search warrant returned to the Cleveland County court clerk's office, Norman police listed 15 items found in a search of the Toyota Paseo discovered March 29 in a rural, wooded area of Norman.

Other items found in the car included three automotive hand tools, 15 articles of clothing and "assorted papers." The search warrant doesn't say what was in those papers.

On the day the car was found, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown confirmed that what appeared to be a suicide note written by 46-year-old Lester Hobbs was found in the car. The contents of that note have not been made public, and Brown said Friday it would be inappropriate for her comment on the car's contents when the search was done by Norman police.

Norman master police officer Jennifer Newell didn't comment on what was found in the car, saying "the search warrant speaks for itself."

It's unlikely the contents of Hobbs' note will be made public, she said.

"I'm not sure it would be helpful to anybody," said Newell, who hasn't seen the note but spoke to investigators who had. "It would not benefit the public in any way and it would not benefit the family in any way."

If the note indicated Hobbs had help fleeing from the law, appropriate charges already would have been filed, she said, adding that no charges are pending.

The body of 7-year-old Aja Johnson was found next to the car and the body of Hobbs, her stepfather and alleged abductor, was found inside. The two had been missing since Jan. 24, when Tonya Hobbs — the girl's mother and Lester Hobbs' estranged wife — was found dead inside Lester Hobbs' motor home in Geronimo, about 100 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

Authorities believe Lester Hobbs killed Tonya Hobbs and kidnapped the girl, taking Tonya Hobbs' car. Police issued an Amber Alert but none of the tips called in led to Aja or her stepfather.

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