Police: Mom says SpongeBob hallucination told her to kill her 3-year-old daughter

Justine Johnson is charged in the murder of her 3-year-old daughter. She told an investigator a...
Justine Johnson is charged in the murder of her 3-year-old daughter. She told an investigator a hallucination of SpongeBob Squarepants told her to kill her daughter.(WNEM)
Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 4:29 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OSCODA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WNEM/Gray News) – After a 3-year-old girl’s body was found in a trash bag in Michigan, the girl’s mother told an investigator she had a hallucination in which SpongeBob told her to kill the girl or face death from her television.

Child Protective Services investigator Ryan Eberline testified in a preliminary investigation of 22-year-old Justine Johnson on Feb. 4. Johnson is charged with first-degree child abuse and felony murder related to the Sept. 16 death of Sutton Mosser, WNEM reported.

Sutton turned 3 years old just two days before her death.

Eberline interviewed Johnson in jail Oct. 1.

“The conversation was very pieced out,” Eberline said in court. “We would review things and go back to those things. Overall, the conversation, from what I could conclude, was that near the date of the 16th she had left her mother’s house walking and passed out in the graveyard.”

Eberline said Johnson told him she tried to kill herself in her own apartment. She also told him what she could remember about what happened to her daughter.

“She told me that she didn’t remember the specifics of what happened at the time of what happened to Sutton, that she was experiencing hallucinations due to heroin withdrawal and not sleeping for approximately two weeks,” Eberline said. “She was getting hallucinations from the TV that had instructed her to take her daughter’s life or they would kill her. It was SpongeBob (Squarepants) who was saying these things on the TV. If she didn’t do what she did to her daughter, they would kill her. She said she was afraid for her life and she had lost her mind.”

Officers with the Oscoda Township Police Department arrived at the home of Johnson and her two brothers early in the morning Sept. 17. They received a call from one of the brothers about a small human foot that was seen protruding from a garbage bag outside of the home.

After investigating, police found the remains of Sutton wrapped in bedding and placed in a garbage bag, dressed only in a pink and white disposable diaper.

There is a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Johnson on Feb. 28. She is in jail without any bond.

Copyright 2022 WNEM via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.