Mother of woman accused of murdering Martonio Wilder to appear in court

The mother of a Columbus woman charged with the murder of an 8-year-old boy along with her girlfriend has been charged with failing to cooperate with law enforcement, court documents show.

Mary Johnson of Columbus has been charged with obstructing justice in the investigation into the killing of 8-year-old Martonio Wilder, who was initially reported missing June 28 but was discovered by investigators in the attic of the home his mother shared with her partner.

Johnson’s daughter, Johnna Lowe, 33, was charged Monday with murder, child endangerment, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in connection with Martonio’s death, as was the child’s mother, Lashanda Wilder, 32.

Court documents do not provide details about the charges against Johnson or her involvement in Martonio’s disappearance and death. Johnson called police during the investigation into Martonio’s disappearance to inform police that Wilder and Lowe’s two other children were with her, according to previous reports.

Police discovered Martonio’s body in a garbage bag inside a sleeping bag in the attic of a home in the 1000 block of Olmstead Avenue. The county coroner’s office found “deep compression marks” on Martonio Wilder’s neck, according to preliminary reports.

Police said Wilder refused to allow a tracking dog into the house before the body was found.

Police said Lashanda Wilder and Lowe left during the investigation without notifying police. When detectives could not locate them or their two children, ages 9 and 3, police issued an Amber Alert. Franklin County Children Services took custody of the two children.

In a 911 call, Johnson told police the two children were in her care and that she was unaware police were looking for them. She said Wilder drove the children to her home.

“The kids you have an Amber Alert for? They’re at my house,” Johnson said in the conversation. “A detective came here, didn’t ask about them. She brought them in around 3.”

Johnson will appear in court for a hearing on June 22.

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