Police identify man found dead in Rutland

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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) Police in Rutland continue their investigation into a suspicious death in the city.

Joseph Johnson, 59, was found dead Thursday morning during a welfare check and police are calling his death suspicious.

We still don't much at this point about Johnson. A neighbor described him as a man who kept to himself and was generally a nice guy. But court paperwork our Dom Amato got shows Johnson was no stranger to police.

"So sad. I just can't believe this happened here. I've got the goosebumps," Betty Hysell said.

Hysell is still shaken after her neighbor, Joseph Johnson, was found dead on Thursday.

Officials from the Vermont Department of Corrections found his body when conducting a welfare check.

"I've never experienced anything like that and I don't ever want to see it again either," Hysell said.

She says she occasionally gave Johnson rides back home from Rutland City. Hysell said a few days ago, Johnson seemed off.

"This day he wasn't himself," she said. "When I asked him, he snapped at me and he never snaps."

Police left the scene on Harrison Avenue Friday morning but continued interviews and their investigation. Rutland City Police Commander David Lachance says an autopsy on Johnson has been completed but he did not share the results.

"We are still waiting for some results from that autopsy, which will give us a little better idea," Lachance said.

Lachance also did not share information on Johnson's criminal history.

"I'd rather not get into any criminal history of his," he said.

But according to court documents, Johnson was charged at least twice with lewd and lascivious conduct. One charge was dropped by the state but he pleaded guilty to the other, which involved a child.

Hysell says she never saw any criminal activity at her neighbor's home and never expected to be so close to an active crime scene.

"It's sad, it's very sad," she said.

Police say they have no persons of interest at this time in the investigation and that they have reason to believe the public is not in any danger.