Teens charged with murder after grandparents were beaten, throats cut

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Gwinnett County Police said 19-year-old Johnny Rider and 17-year-old Cassandra Bjorge have been charged with murder and aggravated assault in the death of Bjorge’s grandparents, Wendy and Randall Bjorge, both 63. The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner said both victims died as a result of an incision to the throat. They had also suffered “blunt force trauma and sharp force injuries.” When the teens were located at a McGinnis Ferry location the day after the bodies were discovered and a SWAT team responded, the teens slit their own wrists, but were able to be transported to a hospital.

“We believe that the couple died approximately one week prior to being found on April 8th. Gwinnett County Police responded to the location several times beginning April 6thand attempted welfare checks by the request of family members. At the time, there was no obvious cause to enter the location by force. On April 9th when the couples vehicle was recovered at the assault scene on Rambling Woods Drive, it was determined that force should be used to enter the home. That is when the bodies were discovered,” Cpl. Deon Washington, public information officer for Gwinnett County Police Department wrote in a press release.

Washington said they believe since the deaths, other teens may have been inside the home and they would like to speak to those teens.

“These teens were unrelated to the actual homicides but they may have information that proves to be critical for the homicide investigation. We would ask parents that live in that area to talk to their teens to see if they were at the house or had contact with the suspects between April 1st and April 8th. If they had contact with the suspects or were at the house we would like to talk to them,” Washington said.

Police had responded to the home at 1911 Furlong Run in the Lawrenceville area of Unicorporated Gwinnett 31 times between October of 2015 and March of 2017 for various reasons, 18 of them for runaway calls, at least eight times for “check often as possible” by request of neighbors, as well as domestic dispute and suspicion of illegal drugs.

“This is a very unique and disturbing case on so many levels and detectives are still exploring motive,” Washington said. “We may never find a scenario that makes sense to a reasonable person.”

Washington gave the following Case Timeline:

April 06, 2017 6:09 p.m.: Welfare check requested for 1911 Furlong Run, Lawrenceville by family member who had not heard from couple in approximately one week. Police responded knocked on the door and nothing suspicious was noted.

April 06, 2017 8:19 p.m.: COAP (check often as possible) requested at 1911 Furlong Run, Lawrenceville due to not having any contact with couple.

April 07, 2017 4:43 p.m.: Welfare check requested for 1911 Furlong Run, Lawrenceville by family member who had not heard from couple. Police responded knocked on the door and nothing suspicious was noted.

April 07, 2017 8:58 p.m.: Missing Person’s report filed by family members for Randall Bjorge.

April 08, 2017 8:30 p.m.: Assault investigation at 1685 Rambling Woods Drive Lawrenceville. Johnny Rider and an unknown female attacked Riders sister and her boyfriend. Wendy and Randall Bjorge’s vehicle found at the location.

April 08, 2017 11:13 p.m.: Police force entry into 1911 Furlong Run, Lawrenceville and the two victims are discovered dead.

April 08, 2017 11:29 p.m.: Johnny Rider and Cassandra Bjorge steal his sister’s vehicle from 1685 Rambling Woods.

April 09, 2017 3:57 a.m.: Stolen vehicle found at 4025 McGinnis Ferry Road, Suwanee building 800. Surveillance initiated on vehicle.

April 09, 2017 9:54 a.m.: SWAT activation at 4025 McGinnis Ferry Road.

April 09, 2017 12:13 p.m. SWAT apprehends Johnny Rider and Cassandra Bjorge at the location and they are transported to the hospital with self-inflicted knife wounds to their wrists.

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