SAN DIEGO (AP) — The stepfather of a 2-year-old boy who disappeared in San Diego 14 years ago has been arrested in North Carolina and faces a murder charge, officials say.
Tieray D. Jones was arrested Monday by U.S. Marshals and Raleigh Police Department officers in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, a small town about 50 miles east of Raleigh. California officials plan to request the 37-year-old man be extradited to the state to face charges of murder and felony child abuse causing death, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said.
“I wasn’t sure this day was ever going to come,” said Dumanis, who described it as one of the “highest-profile unsolved cases in San Diego County.”
“This case has weighed heavily on all of us and our hearts go out to the family,” Dumanis said.
Jones wasn’t able to be reached for comment. It was unclear Monday if he has an attorney.
The disappearance of Jahi Turner on April 25, 2002, shook the city, coming only months after the kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam from her home.
Police searched for the boy for weeks, combing parks and a landfill. His body has never been found.
Authorities at the time questioned Jones, who was caring for the boy while his 18-year-old wife, a sailor, served aboard a San Diego-based Navy ship. The boy had been in San Diego for only five days before his disappearance. Before that, he had been living with his grandmother in Frederick, Maryland.
Jones told police the boy went missing from a playground after he left the toddler for 15 minutes to buy a soda. Officials discounted Jones’ story because of inconsistencies, but they said in 2002 that they lacked evidence to charge him.
New evidence led to the arrest, but San Diego officials Monday declined to give specifics on what that …read more