Tieray Jones, 37, was taken into custody in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on suspicion of killing 2-year-old Jahi Turner, San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced at an afternoon briefing at downtown SDPD headquarters.
Dumanis told reporters she hadn’t been sure over the years that “this day would ever come,” describing the longtime unsolved case as one that “weighed heavily on all our hearts.”
Deputy DA Sylvia Tenorio speaks about the extradition of Tieray Jones to SD for the murder of 2yr old Jahi Turner. pic.twitter.com/NrrPa3cvMk
— SD District Attorney (@SDDistAtty) April 18, 2016
“Jahi’s disappearance rocked the community to its core 14 years ago,” she said.
Jones, who lived with Jahi and the child’s mother in a Golden Hill apartment, reported the youngster missing on April 25, 2002. The suspect told police he had brought Jahi to a park at Cedar and 28th streets, left him with a woman and several other children for about 15 minutes and returned to find him gone.
Police at the time declined to comment on news reports that Jahi had not been to that playground at all that day, or that Jones reportedly failed a lie detector test.
— Sandy Coronilla (@SandyCoro) April 18, 2016
@ChiefZimmerman We never lost hope we would either find Jahi Turner alive or bring his killer to justice.
— San Diego Police (@SanDiegoPD) April 18, 2016
The boy’s disappearance prompted weeks of intensive searches, including an extensive sweep of the Miramar Landfill.
Though the case ultimately went cold, authorities remained committed to solving it one day, Dumanis told reporters.
“We never gave up on finding justice for Jahi,” she said.
— City News Service
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