The conclusion to a saga that gripped residents of Clinton Township, Michigan for years finally came last week when two brothers were sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2013 murders of a mother and her young daughter, as Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV reports.
Henry and Tony Johnson finally received justice for brutally killing Tina Geiger and her 11-year-old daughter, Krissy, after the case had gone cold from the time of their deaths until 2019.
As the Detroit Free Press noted last month, answers in the shocking case remained elusive for years after the two victims died inside their Macomb County apartment.
It was not until 2020 that law enforcement authorities matched DNA from a bloody print found in the Geigers' home to Tony Johnson, who had been fingerprinted as the result of an unrelated 2019 arrest.
Blood samples taken from a railing outside the residence were also determined to be a match for a male relative of Tony Johnson's, and were later identified as belonging to his brother, Henry, who resided in the same apartment building as the slain mother and daughter, according to WDIV.
Technological advances in video software that emerged in the years following the killings permitted investigators to more accurately assess surveillance tapes from a 7-Eleven store, which was the last place the victims had been seen alive – footage that showed the Johnsons to have been there at the same time.
Those evidentiary developments, belated as they were, led to the early November convictions of Tony and Henry Johnson on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder and homicide-felony murder, for which they received life sentences without the possibility of parole on Thursday.
During the Johnsons' sentencing hearing last week, friends and family members of Tina and Krissy Geiger delivered impact statements in which they articulated the depth of the loss they have felt all these many years, as the Macomb Daily reported.
“Every day I have heartache. I miss them every day. I try my best to remember those good times and cherish those memories,” said Rebeckka Mustaffa, Tina Geiger's sister.
Standing in Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Toia's courtroom, Mustaffa wept and added, “I can't be with my family...anymore. They were just ripped from my heart from these two monsters of the brutal crime.”
“For the past 10 years, a part of my heart has been removed. Every day I've hurt,” Mustaffa continued.
According to Mustaffa, the loss of Tina and Krissy Geiger was deeply felt by many in the community, not just among their own family members, as many had come together over the years to provide assistance to the mother and daughter, both of whom had developmental disabilities.
“I tried to help them throughout the years with their special needs and was able to fill in some gaps with Tina, anywhere she needed help with Kristina. I can tell you, so many other people loved them, including a lot of the staffing over the years.... The staffing who tried so hard to keep them protected will always be in my heart, especially the ones I was close with in trying to do the safety issues,” she said.
At the sentencing hearing, Henry Johnson maintained his innocence and implored authorities to keep searching for the true killers, while Tony Johnson did not speak. While it is certainly cold comfort to those who loved the Geigers, the brothers now stand virtually no chance of regaining their freedom.