OSBI Pleads For Safe Return of Aja Johnson
LAWTON, Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has released new photos of missing Oklahoma girl Aja Johnson and her suspected kidnapper Lester Hobbs.
Aja has been missing for 33 days since her mother Tonya Hobbs was found dead in a travel trailer in Geronimo in southwestern Oklahoma.
Lester Hobbs had been charged with murder in the death of Tonya Hobbs.
Authorities have been following up on hundreds of leads, but still need the public's help in learning the location of Hobbs and Aja.
"We haven't got a lead to date that indicated where they might be," said Richard Goss, special agent in charge.
Police say Hobbs is good at changing his appearance but his crooked nose is hard to miss.
He also has these tattoos on his hands; the word "rose" across his right fingers and "love" across his left fingers.
Investigators say he can be anywhere.
"Hobbs can survive on very little money, in fact his needs seem to be met with only cigarettes, liquor and very little food," Goss said.
The last time anyone saw Hobbs was hours before Aja went missing. Surveillance video from a Wal-Mart in Lawton shows a white Toyota Paseo in the parking lot. Moments later Hobbs is seen in the store with his estranged wife, Aja's mother, Tonya Hobbs. Investigators say Hobbs had threatened to kill Tonya's children in the past with a hammer.
But it was Tonya who was later found murdered inside Hobbs's home in Geronimo.
"It now appears that Lester Hobbs carried out that threat and actually used a hammer to kill his own wife, and possibly with Aja laying on the sofa next to him," Goss said.
Now that Hobbs is on the run investigators believe he is getting help.
"He's gotten to a point that he felt comfortable in some place he's been in the past and he's laid down," A.D. Templeton with the U.S. Marshal Service said.
Authorities say the still believe Aja is alive and they are pleading with Hobbs to let her go and turn himself in.
Investigators say Hobbs might be working as a mechanic, likes to play pool and he may be traveling by bus or hitchhiking.
Agent Goss pleaded with Hobbs to safely return Aja.
"I have a message directly for Lester Hobbs," Goss said. "The intensity of this manhunt, our search for you, will not lessen, will not end, until Aja is returned. For once in your life, do something right. Release Aja now."
There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to Aja's return and Hobbs' arrest.