7 years after this Virginia mother and daughter vanished, police are still seeking answers

Keir and Chloe Johnson
‘They matter to us:' Newport News police seek answers in mother, daughter disappearance
Posted at 7:51 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 19:51:20-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — It’s been seven years since 34-year-old Keir Johnson and her eight-month-old daughter Chloe Johnson vanished from the peninsula.

Like her family and many people in our community, I’ve often thought about what could have happened to the new mother and her precious baby girl. So, as the anniversary of their disappearance approached this year, I sought answers from Newport News police— and Chief Steve Drew talked to me about the case in a candid, emotional and somewhat guarded interview.

“Until there’s resolve, we will keep pushing forward. We owe that to [Keir Johnson] and that little girl,” said a visibly emotional Chief Drew, who explained that investigators regularly update him on the case. “It absolutely matters to me.”

Keir and Chloe Johnson
Keir and Chloe Johnson disappeared April 30, 2017.

On April 30, 2017, Johnson and her baby girl were supposed to meet up with friends at Buckroe Beach in Hampton— but they never showed up. Their family reported them missing, and eleven days later, the Hampton Police Department initiated an AMBER Alert.

Three days later after the AMBER Alert was issued, Johnson’s abandoned vehicle was found on Jefferson Avenue and Arch Street in Newport News. The Newport News Police Department took the lead on the investigation following that discovery.

“Do you believe someone did something to Keir and Chloe?” I asked Chief Drew.

“I do, I do. I don’t think they just walked out and disappeared. There was too much in their life," he answered. “I do believe that at some point we will end up in a courtroom and hold individuals accountable.”

I asked for clarity, saying “You said you think this will end in a resolution in a courtroom?"

“I think it has to," Chief Drew responded. "We have to hold individuals accountable that took part in this disappearance.”


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“I know you’re very careful not to jeopardize the investigation,” I said to Chief Drew. “But is there a person of interest now, or has there ever been?”

Chief Drew was guarded in his response— and said he did not want to disclose anything that would jeopardize the investigation.

“There are certainly individuals that we have looked at and talked to that pique our interest, but I don’t want to go any further than that because we don’t have some of those things that link systems of people together,” the police chief said.

Two years ago, ahead of the fifth anniversary of Keir and Chloe Johnson’s disappearance, I sat down with Keir Johnson’s twin sister, Teir Pettway. She told me she believes someone her sister knew murdered her sister and niece.

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“I think somebody she trusted did something to [them], said Pettway. “In my heart, I know their days are numbered.”

“What is the missing link in this case?” I asked the chief.

“I’m very cautious in the words that I use, and I would love to tell you […] if we found this, or if we had that, we’d be making an arrest tomorrow." he responded. "I wouldn’t do that to hurt the case. It is the right thing to do, if you know something, to come forward.”

Chief Drew said he is sympathetic to the family’s frustration over the lack of answers and closure seven years later.

“What do you say to their family?” I asked.

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“I would tell them that we love them, that they matter to us, that they matter to this agency, and we’re committed to bring them and provide them some type of closure,” he said.

Chief Drew told me he is consistently in communication with the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney about this case.

The Newport News Police Foundation is offering $35,000 in reward money for information leading to the recovery of Keir and Chloe Johnson. The Crime Line— 1-888-LOCK-U-UP— is also offering $1500 for any anonymous tips that lead to an arrest.

If you have information that can help bring closure to this case, you can call the Keir and Chloe Johnson tip line at 757-354-7556 or email



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