Missing woman’s death in Sandias ‘accidental’

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A week after she went missing, the body of Brittany Johnson has been recovered from a treacherous part of the Sandias. Rescue crews found her Friday and investigators identified her Saturday.

“We all loved Brittany,” Anthony Morgan said. “She was a sweetheart.”

The 24-year-old was found just before 5 p.m. Friday evening at the bottom of a cliff just south of the Sandia Crest parking lot. Because of where she was found, and weather conditions, it took crews more than six hours to recover her body.

Johnson went missing last Saturday and was last seen leaving a spa near Broadway and Mountain.

On Wednesday, deputies patrolling the crest road found her car and immediately began searching, working up to 16 hours a day. Friends and family were there helping and awaiting any updates.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department said her death appears accidental and that she likely fell on Saturday.

KRQE News 13 spoke with those who knew Johnson as the search went on. They said she loved hiking in the area but lately said she was showing signs that something may not have been right and we’re concerned about her well-being.

“It’s sad,” Morgan said. “I wish that someone could’ve prevented it, helped out. She was just a really sweet girl and she’ll be missed by many and I just wish it was different.”

The sheriff’s department said there’s no reason to believe something out of the ordinary happened.

“Given the totality of the circumstances with the way she disappeared, her normal day to day activities, and no previous history of severe depression or suicide attempts it would appear by all accounts this was accidental,” Lt. Pete Golden with BCSD said.

The Office of the Medical Investigator has performed an autopsy on Johnson. A final report and findings could take some time.

The sheriff’s department said it’s grateful for the volunteers who came out to help search for Johnson.

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