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Latest Missing Person Video for jahi-marques-turner
Latest Missing Person Photos for
Missing Jahi Marques Turner
Jahi, circa 2002; Age progression forensics photo to age 15 (circa 2015); Tameka Jones in 2002; Tieray Jones in 2002; Tieray Jones in 2016; Sketch of female witness in Balboa Park, 2002
Missing Since 04/25/2002
San Diego, California
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 02/10/2000 (21)
Age 2 years old
Height and Weight 2'11, 35 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description A long-sleeved navy blue shirt imprinted with images of the cartoon characters Winnie The Pooh and Tigger, blue nylon cargo pants with an orange drawstring and extra pockets on the knees, and gray size 8 1/2 or 9 Air Jordan sneakers.
Details of Disappearance Jahi moved to the Golden Hill area of San Diego, California on April 21, 2002. He lived with his mother, Tameka Jones, and stepfather, Tieray Dewayne Jones, in United States military housing in the 3400 block of Beech Street.
Tameka was a sailor in the United States Navy at the time and was deployed aboard the U.S.S. Rushmore while Tieray looked after Jahi. The two apparently slept in the same bed, although the child had a bedwetting problem.
Jahi previously resided with his maternal grandmother in Maryland. Tameka took him to California the day before her deployment. Photos of Tameka and Tieray are posted with this case summary. Jahi's biological father lived in Frederick, Maryland and had recently been released from prison. He and Tameka had not maintained their relationship after she became pregnant, and he had never been part of Jahi's life.
Tieray told authorities that he and Jahi visited Balboa Park in the Golden Hill area near 28th Street and Cedar Street on April 25, 2002. The playground is in the 2800 block of Beech Street.
Tieray said that he left Jahi near the sandbox while he purchased a soda from a nearby vending machine. He stated that a woman and two children were near the area at the time. He claimed that Jahi had vanished by the time he returned. Jahi has never been heard from again.
Tieray searched the park and also walked around the block looking for him for fifteen to twenty minutes, then called 911 to report his disappearance at 2:30 p.m. An extensive search of the area produced no clues as to Jahi's whereabouts. Authorities announced that Tieray said he left his stepson unattended for approximately 15 minutes; Tieray denied the statement and claimed that Jahi was unchaperoned for less than that amount of time.
Investigators released a sketch of the woman Tieray saw in the Balboa Park area on the day Jahi disappeared. The image is posted with this case summary. Authorities identified the individual several days later and said that she provided unspecified information concerning Jahi's case. The woman is not a suspect in the child's disappearance.
Tameka called Tieray from her ship at 11:00 a.m. on April 23 and asked to speak to Jahi; he only made a few noises and then said, "Bye." Tieray told her Jahi was watching a movie. He also told Tameka that Jahi had wet the bed the previous night, and he stated the boy had fallen off the bed and hit his head on the dresser, but claimed he only had a small bump and the injury was "no big deal."
Tieray also made numerous phone calls to various acquaintances, asking them for money, during times he told police he was having lunch with Jahi, napping with him and walking to the park with him.
Two hours before he reported Jahi missing, Tieray left two phone messages for Tameka asking her to get in touch about an "emergency". The last call he made was to an ex-girlfriend; he spoke to her for half an hour. Six minutes later, he called 911 and said Jahi was missing.
Both Tameka and Tieray kept daily diaries for each other to read while they were apart from each other. Investigators read Tieray's diary and stated some of the entries indicate Jahi was harmed before his disappearance was reported. In his entry for April 23, Tieray wrote:
"Today for some reason [Jahi] hasn't been moving or really talking. Jahi is starting to act really funny he won't get up off the floor. He's not walking or talking when I tell him to get his cup he just looks at me. I know it's going to take some time. But I don't want him hating me for something I can't control. The bump on his head has gone down I put ice on it. It's gotten a little red."
In diary entries dated 10:30 a.m. on April 24 and 8:54 on April 25, Tieray made no further references to any injury to Jahi or any unusual behavior on the child's part. Instead he wrote about toilet training him, bathing him and taking him to the park.
Tieray had a prior criminal history including drug charges and failure to pay child support in Maryland. He and Tameka allegedly took polygraph tests after Jahi disappeared. Numerous media outlets reported that Tieray failed the exams, but officials refused to confirm the allegations.
Tameka and Tieray began working with a retired social worker to search for Jahi during the summer of 2002, and Jahi's father hired a private investigator to look for his son in September 2002. The private detective cited numerous inconsistencies in Tieray's version of events as reason for concern. Tameka and Tieray later moved back to Maryland and ended their relationship.
Tieray's trial was just about to begin when prosecutors dropped all the charges against him, as numerous witnesses were unavailable to testify. He later pleaded no contest to assault in another case and was sentenced to five years in prison.
In April 2016, Tieray was arrested in North Carolina and charged with murder and child abuse causing death in Jahi's disappearance. The arrest warrant quoted the writing from Tieray's diary that suggested Jahi was injured.
A specialist in child abuse said the symptoms Tieray described in his diary are consistent with either a serious head injury or blunt force abdominal trauma, either of which could be fatal if left untreated. The child abuse expert also noted that Jahi had a bedwetting problem, and bedwetting can trigger child abuse in caregivers. Tieray had written in his diary and also told Tameka that Jahi wet the bed on the night of April 22 - 23.
One of Jahi's onesies and his blanket, which were found in the apartment, tested positive for the child's blood, and investigators found a pair of Jahi's pajamas in the truck of Tieray's car that also had his blood on them. Tameka, when asked, said there was no reason for any of her son's clothes to be in Tieray's car. Investigators also found some of Jahi's and Tameka's clothing mixed together in a dumpster near the family's apartment; Tameka said she and Tieray had never talked about him throwing away any clothes.
During Tieray's trial in February - March 2018, the judge dismissed the charge of child abuse resulting in death, noting the lack of "substantial physical evidence." He maintained his innocence and testified in his own defense, saying he loved Jahi and would never hurt him, although he admitted to having left him alone for far longer than he initially claimed and to having lied to the police about this.
Foul play is suspected in Jahi's case due to the circumstances involved.
Investigating Agency / Department