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Search For Missing Child Has Tragic End, Now Homicide Investigation

Escambia County Sheriff's Office

The search for 12-year-old Naomi Jones has now shifted into a homicide investigation, following the discovery of her body Monday afternoon in Eight-Mile Creek.

Naomi’s body was located in the water around 4 p.m. by two local fishermen scouting a place to fish in the creek near the intersection of Detroit Boulevard and Ashland Avenue. The location was approximately four miles from her home at Aspen Village Apartments on East Johnson Avenue and one mile outside the main search area, which was a radius of 3 miles.

Naomi had been missing since Wednesday. A vigil was held for her Monday evening at Olive Baptist Church.

During a press briefing Monday evening, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan announced their extensive investigation into the child’s disappearance, has resulted in the identification of some persons of interest, who may or may not be involved.

“I would tell you that we have names of individuals,” Morgan said. “Beyond that I’m not going to comment any more about these individuals or even the numbers.”

Morgan did say that the last communication anyone had with Naomi was at 12:21 last Wednesday, the day she disappeared, via a cell phone call to a friend.

“We do believe we’re getting a more definitive timeline,” said Morgan, thanking the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI for providing their assistance, including their technical capabilities. “So, the time line is being further (defined) as to when Naomi left her home and then again tracking where she may or may not have been at that time.”

Sheriff David Morgan was somewhat irritated by the question of motive, answering, “I don’t care why.” He continued, “You’ve killed one of my citizens. That’s all I’m concerned with. I leave the whys to the psychologists and the script-writers. We want to solve this crime and bring to justice the person that took Naomi’s life.”

Since receiving the report that Naomi was missing, the sheriff’s office received a multitude of assistance.

The KlaasKIDS Foundation, a national search and rescue organization based in Pensacola, lead the search involving over 200 local volunteers.

The FBI had numerous agents assigned to the case. Authorities received and followed up on over 200 tips, conducted more than 300 interviews, and executed 30 search warrants.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the ECSO at 436-9620.

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years. Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.