Family Pleads for Answers in Death of Young Mother Whose Body They Say Was Found Nude in the Street in Commerce

Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a woman whose family said she was found nude in the street in Commerce over the weekend.

Catrina Ann Johnson, who just celebrated her 24th birthday last Wednesday, was discovered in the 6200 block of Nye Street around 6:10 a.m. on Saturday, according to Los Angeles County coroner's officials and a news release from the Sheriff's Department.

Catrina Johnson is seen holding her son in an undated photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

Catrina Johnson is seen holding her son in an undated photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

Officials said an autopsy was pending to determine a cause of death for Johnson, described by her family as a young mother who had hopes of pursuing fashion once she could shift focus from caring for her infant son and ailing grandmother.

Sheriff's investigators have yet to release further details on the case, but loved ones said she turned up dead after going out Friday night.

"All I know is she went out with her friends to have a good time and she never came back home," said her mother, Nicole Hall.

Hall said the friends her daughter went out with told her they saw Johnson get into a white pickup, but they don't know who else was inside.

"The friends said they saw her and then all of a sudden — she's there, she's with her, and then she disappears," Hall said. "And then hours later they find her in the middle of the street."

According to Hall, her daughter's naked body was lying facedown on Nye Street, as if she had been dumped there.

"They're saying she was thrown out of a truck," Hall told KTLA. "I don't know how true that is, but she was just thrown in the middle of the street like she was garbage. And I just want somebody to answer for what they did."

Hall said she was heartbroken by the loss of her eldest child among six sisters and a brother.

"She was the sweetest person in the world. She would give you her last," Hall said. "She was always there for her sisters and brother."

Johnson was from Crenshaw and graduated from Hamilton High School in Palms, where she played basketball. She had planned to next enroll at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising after her son got a little older.

But now, "she has an 8-month-old son who will never get to know her," Hall said.

Johnson's grandmother, Pamela Hewitt, said she's been crushed by the loss of a bright spirit who was both her granddaughter and the caregiver helping her battle back from an illness.

"It's so hard, because Catrina was just sunshine. And her smile, when she came in, she just made everyone happy," Hewitt said. "And I miss her terribly. I can't even imagine life without her."

Johnson's loved ones have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money to cover her memorial costs.

Anyone with information about her death can contact the Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or submit a tip anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or LACrimeStoppers.org.

KTLA's Judy Oehling contributed to this article.

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