In December 1987 the body of John Eller was located on Gasco Road and Eagle Way in Newberry Springs. During the investigation, homicide detectives discovered John was last seen alive at the Johnson property. Statements taken during the investigation indicated John had been in an altercation with Paul Johnson. The cause of death was ligature strangulation.
During the investigation, Johnson family members and friends of the Johnson family were uncooperative. A year later the case went cold when no new leads were obtained.
In November 2008 a letter from a state prisoner was mailed to Cold Case Detectives Greg Robert Alexander and Greg Myler. Myler and Alexander interviewed the informant, which led to more than 10 other interviews. During the subsequent investigation in 2009, enough evidence was obtained to prove Paul had in fact killed John.
A few months later, Deputy District Attorney John Thomas issued an arrest warrant for murder. and Paul was arrested at his residence in Lucerne Valley and booked for murder--more than 22 years after the murder occurred.