Danielle Griego Killed After Domestic Violence Episode the Previous Night (14)

Later today, a visitation will bring together the family, friends and loved ones of 24-year-old Danielle Griego prior to a funeral planned for Denver's Holy Ghost Catholic Church tomorrow. Meanwhile, more details are emerging about her murder, allegedly at the hands of Elmo Johnson, 44, who was found beside her dead body, suffering from a drug overdose.

See also: Clint Burtts's Slow-Motion Murder -- and Denver Police's Plea for Help

Johnson has been publicly identified as Griego's boyfriend, but her Facebook page doesn't feature any photos of him. But there are plenty of Griego portraits, including this one....

...and this one: As for what led to her death, Fox31 details a complicated and tragic chain of events. Early on the morning of September 16 (last Tuesday), police reportedly responded to a domestic violence call at 1439 Lima Street in Aurora. Upon their arrival at the apartment, they found Griego, but not Johnson.

He'd reportedly split after choking and abusing Griego -- something friends cited by the Aurora Sentinel say had happened numerous times previously. However, the Sentinel maintains that Griego wasn't cooperative with investigators.

Nonetheless, Aurora police are said to have searched for Johnson, but failed to track him down.

The police ultimately left the residence, but they were called back late that same afternoon. According to a police report accessed by the Denver Post, Stephanie Griego, Danielle's mother, visited the apartment to check on her daughter's well-being and was horrified by what she found.

Danielle seemed to be sleeping on the couch. But when her mom pulled back the covers over her, she discovered the young woman was dead of a gunshot wound to the chest -- and Johnson was unconscious nearby, having apparently suffered a drug overdose after killing her.

Johnson was hospitalized for his condition but was improved enough by the next day that he was booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and felony menacing.

The police report quotes Johnson as denying any knowledge of Griego's death -- although he acknowledged that he might have blacked out after consuming some vodka.

The Post notes that Johnson had been busted on violent crime beefs multiple times in the past. His most recent previous arrest had pertained to weapons and drug allegations in Adams County. He'd been released on bond just six days prior to Griego's death.

This time, no bond has been offered to Johnson. Meanwhile, those who cherished Griego are grieving. Some sample comments from her memory page:

Can't wait to see your face one last time I miss u dearly and know you're looking down on us. Please keep us strong and most of all together we need u more than ever.

You will be missed dearly. Taken from us so early in age. I will forever cherish the time we spent. Watching movies in the winter will be missing warming touch. I'm glad we were able to experience love together. Ill miss u my Love. Rest at ease. love always.

Miss you so much you were takin from us too soon just know that you where loved by so many friends and family just know that we will always love you knowing that you are an angel in heaven you will always be remembered in life love you big head. Shine for us up there love you.

We add our condolences, too. Here's a look at Elmo Johnson's booking photo.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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