Car chase leads to body found in Heritage Ranch home


Two young children are left unharmed in vehicle

HERITAGE RANCH — A Paso Robles man was jailed Sunday, March 3, after stealing a patrol car and deputies finding a woman’s body in the home where he lived, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Daniel Rodriguez Johnson, 31, of Paso Robles, was taken into custody Sunday morning near Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, SLO Undersheriff Jim Voge said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

SLO Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at approximately 5:58 a.m. March 3 to assist CHP officers with a pursuit, Voge said.

The pursuit began on Highway 46 West near York Mountain Road, Voge said. Deputies were notified that CHP had responded to a disabled vehicle with a man and two girls ages 2 and 4 inside. AS CHP tried to assist, Johnson allegedly stole a CHP cruiser and proceeded to drive westbound on Highway 46 and then turned north on Highway 1. There was no altercation between Johnson and an officer, he just “slipped” into the CHP vehicle and took off, Voge said.

Spike strips were deployed in the San Simeon area, but Johnson continued to drive with flat tires until he lost control of the vehicle in nearby brush north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Johnson then fled on foot, Voge said.

When deputies located the suspect, later identified as Johnson, he brandished a knife, Voge said. At this time the deputies used bean bag rounds to disable Johnson and take him into custody without further incident.

Deputies were then dispatched to a home in the 2800 block of Sorrel Lane in Heritage Ranch where Johnson lived to check the welfare of any residents at the residence, Voge said. Upon their arrival, they found a broken window and since they were unable to make contact with the occupants, they entered the home. Inside the home, they found the body of an adult female. Deputies reported the death as suspicious and began a full-scale investigation.

According to social media accounts, the woman who was found dead was allegedly pregnant and carrying a full term child. Voge said they had not confirmed this detail.

Johnson is in custody and was booked into County Jail on suspicion of driving without owner’s consent, DUI, child endangerment, felony resisting arrest and felony evading thus far, Voge said.

The identity of the deceased woman is being withheld until her family is notified. According to officials, the two children found in the abandoned vehicle are now with family.

No additional details are available at this time.

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