WHEATON – A 72-year-old woman described as a friendly neighbor who was active in her Silver Spring church is dead after police say someone murdered her last week in her home along the 2700 block of Arcola Avenue.
Montgomery County Police found Linda Johnson dead Aug. 3. Police arrested Kwasi Sadler Aug. 9, charging the 23-year-old with first-degree murder.
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Johnson suffered from trauma wounds to her body, according to Police Cpt. Paul Starks.
Neighbors described Johnson as a private but friendly individual.
She would wave to neighbors and say a “quick hello,” according to Sean Corbett, the president of the Wheaton Hills Homeowners Association.
Corbett had lived down street from Johnson since he moved to the neighborhood in 2008.
Johnson attended the Silver Spring Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 25 years, according to Deborah Evans, who was a friend of Johnson’s and a church employee.
“Over the years she had served in the church as an elder and as a community services representative,” Evans said. “As a community representative she helped in preparing holiday food boxes for those in need in our community. She was kindhearted and tried to be helpful to others.”
Recently, Evan said Johnson could not attend church services due to poor health.
In Johnson’s yard, gardening equipment could be seen lying around and a giant American flag hungs next to her front door.
Neighbors said they saw her gardening often over the years.
Corbett said a murder has never happened in the neighborhood but the homeowners association does not plan to start any type of neighborhood watch program.
Some HOA members already perform watch-like duties, according to Corbett.
“Linda was dearly loved by those who knew her,” Evans said. “She loved the Lord and enjoyed studying the Bible and sharing the gospel with others. Our church is saddened and stunned at the news of her death.”
Church members are planning to hold a memorial for Johnson in either late August or early September, according to Evans.