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'I thought I was raising my children in a safe community' | Reidsville family mourns loss of son and daughter - killed within the last year

Ross Johnson was gunned down in October. Taylor Johnson died after she overdosed on fentanyl-laced Xanax in December 2019. Their parents are pleading for answers.

REIDSVILLE, N.C. — Just about a week away from Christmas, a Reidsville family is praying for answers, nearly two months after their son was killed. His murder comes less than a year after another family tragedy. 

"He was just always the bright spot... he was always encouraging and always telling us to hold our heads up, so we hold onto that voice," said his mother Dawn Johnson.

She holds tight to the memory of her son, Ross. He was only 21 when he was gunned down in late October, leaving behind a 3-year-old daughter and a fiancée. 

"He loves the holidays. He loved family get togethers. We couldn't even have Thanksgiving...because I couldn't get with my parents and the family without him there because his absence was so strong."

On October 22, just after 8 p.m., someone shot and killed him as he sat in a car at the intersection of Snead and Benson Streets in Reidsville. It's been nearly two months - and still, no suspects. 

"We know that there are people who have information and have not come forward, and have not responded," said Lieutenant Dennis Haley with the Reidsville Police Department, "We’ve been there. We have knocked on all doors. We’ve requested their assistance and we are requesting the public’s assistance."

This week, the family also mourns the loss of their daughter. One year ago, 24-year-old Taylor Johnson overdosed and died, after taking fentanyl-laced Xanax. Her death is also an open case for Reidsville Police, to find the person who gave it to her. 

Ross and Taylor's father, Allen, said it's been hard to keep the faith. 

"We miss our children. We lost too many. We take it day by day. And, my son, I miss him every day. I miss my daughter every day," he said, "The holidays is going to be surreal. A lot of pleasure in getting the gifts... but a lot of sorrow because they're not there to share it with us."

"This is small community," said Dawn, "This has been my home for 48 years. I though I was raising my children in a safe community."

They know they can't bring them back - but this family does hope for answers, and for justice.

Reidsville Police, the SBI, and CrimeStoppers are offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. If you know anything - call (336) 349-9683. Remember, you can remain anonymous.