John Albert Gardner

Retired deputy Chris Johnson, liaison to Chelsea King's family, dies of heart attack at 54

Retired deputy Chris Johnson, liaison to Chelsea King's family, dies of heart attack at 54

UPDATE on 11/28: A memorial service for Chris Johnson will be held on Friday, Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. at the Lake Poway pavilion.

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A recently retired Sheriff’s deputy, nicknamed “Sheepdog” by Chelsea King’s parents because of his fierce protection of their family, has died.

At the age of 54, Chris Johnson, a Poway resident, suffered a heart attack Tuesday in Michigan while visiting family.

Johnson was assigned in 2010 to be the liaison between law enforcement and the Kings in the days and weeks following the 17-year-old Poway High School student’s abduction and murder.

Johnson retired from the department last year after 28 years,...