Bob Nelson Murder: Where Are Gary Lee Poisel Jr. and Johanna Gray Now? – Californian truck driver Bob Nelson, 59, was on his final delivery run the week before he was scheduled to retire in June 1999. But, before returning home to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary, he was supposed to make a drop-off in Miami on a route that would pass via Alabama.
The pleasant family man was discovered dead off a stretch of rural highway two weeks later, so he was unable to mark both this joyous occasion and his departure from the working world.
The subject of “Highway To Hell: The Last Ride” on Investigation Discovery is Bob’s murder and how, more than a decade later, biological evidence helped identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Let’s investigate what occurred, shall we?
Who Was Bob Nelson and How Did He Die?
Bob Nelson was a long-distance truck driver who frequently travelled far from home. On July 6, 1999, the pair were set to commemorate their 25th wedding anniversary. He had been married to Mary Ann Nelson. However, the 59-year-old’s task was to deliver a shipment of frozen chicken to Miami, Florida. When Mary last spoke to her husband, he was in Joplin, Missouri, on June 27, 1999.
After that, Mary stopped hearing from Bob, and he skipped their anniversary visit. The frightened wife made several unsuccessful attempts to learn what had transpired. Finally, a work crew discovered Bob’s body, which was at the time unidentified, along a roadway outside of Montgomery, Alabama, on July 2, 1999.
His back, chest, and neck had all been stabbed, and one of the wounds had severed an artery in his neck. Only two weeks later were Bob’s remains found and identified.
Who Killed Bob Nelson and Why?
The authorities later discovered that Bob’s truck had its doors wide open and its keys in the ignition when it was discovered at a truck stop in Georgia. Two days later, the trailer containing the chicken parts was discovered at a different stop some 15 miles away. The taxicab was thought to have been abandoned there a day or two after Bob’s body was discovered and had blood spatter inside. There were no leads to pursue at the time, therefore the investigation became dormant.
The authorities discovered a DNA match for the biological evidence gathered from the crime scene more than ten years later, in March 2010. The cab contained cigarette butts of a different brand than the one Bob smoked. These butts have the same DNA as Gary Lee Poisel Jr. But, then, the detectives discovered two pages bound together with Bob’s blood in the evidence. In addition, some fingerprints matched Gary when they were separated.
Last but not least, Gary’s semen was also discovered in the bedding on the upper bunk in the cab. He had a criminal record that included charges for drug possession, resisting arrest, and obstruction of justice. According to the investigation, Gary and Johanna Gray left Texas without permission in 1999, when they were both on probation. They took rides from various individuals until they met Bob after their car was stolen in North Carolina.
Bob agreed to offer the pair a ride since he was going through Joplin at the time. They ultimately became buddies, but things turned terrible at a Montgomery stop one evening. While Bob was dozing off and Johanna was out purchasing alcohol, Gary stabbed him. He told her that “he had done it” when she returned. After disposing of the dead body, they took his truck. According to DNA evidence discovered in the truck, Johanna eventually left Gary and travelled to Alaska.
However, Johanna returned to Texas in 2014 to turn herself in for additional charges. She informed the authorities about what occurred and gave testimony against Gary after finding out that she was connected to Bob’s case.
When he was 39 years old and detained in March 2011, he later said he stabbed Bob because the latter had sexually assaulted him. Johanna testified that there was no evidence to support Bob’s being sexually aggressive, and the evidence refuted that.
Johanna Gray and Gary Lee Poisel Jr., Where are They Now?
Gary was convicted guilty of capital murder in Alabama in October 2016 and was promptly given a life sentence without the possibility of release. He continues to be detained at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, Alabama, for the time being. Gary’s conviction was upheld after an appeal in May 2017. Johanna insisted that she hadn’t revealed any information in exchange for assistance with her case.
I’m not doing this for a bargain, Johanna declared. However, Miss Nelson requires closure and needs to know the truth. Johanna was given a 15-year term after entering a guilty plea to manslaughter.
She was sentenced to three years in jail for the remaining time on probation. Since then, Johanna seems to have avoided difficulty after being released from prison. She appears to reside in Texas, but not many other details are currently known about her.