Aunt charged after bodies of two children found during traffic stop

Posted at 12:22 PM, July 30, 2021 and last updated 4:51 PM, December 12, 2022

By Ryan Dickstein, WMAR

ESSEX, Md. — A Wednesday traffic stop in Baltimore County led to the gruesome discovery of two dead children.

It happened just after 11pm, when an officer assigned to the Essex precinct pulled a car over on Eastern Boulevard near Wagners Lane.

“There were certain details about this vehicle that made patrol officers suspicious last night that initiated this vehicle being stopped,” said Baltimore County police spokeswoman Joy Stewart.

The bodies of 7-year-old Joshlyn Johnson and her 5-year-old brother Larry O’Neil were taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office to undergo an autopsy.

On Friday, police say they arrested and charged the driver, 33-year-old Nicole M. Johnson, who is the children’s aunt.

“Tonight, the entire Baltimore County Police Department grieves with the community over the unspeakable deaths of two innocent children,” Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said.

The exact circumstances that led to the deaths are still under investigation.

This story was originally published July 29, 2021, by WMAR in Baltimore.