It has been 14 years since the disappearance of 2-year-old Jahi Turner.
His stepfather, Tieray Dwayne Jones, will now face murder charges for Turner’s disappearance, potentially putting him away for up to 50 years.
On April 18, 37-year-old Jones was arrested in Rocky Mount, N.C., and will soon be extradited to California and brought up on charges of felony child abuse and murder, according to a criminal complaint from the San Diego County District Attorney’s office.
A spokesman for the San Diego County DA’s office confirmed the arrest, “Jones faces a maximum of 50 years to life in prison if convicted. He waived extradition and should be in San Diego within 30 days.”
Jahi Turner was last seen on April 25, 2002, prompting several weeks of searching from family, friends, and the local police department.
At the time of Turner’s disappearance, Jones was taking care of him. Jones was initially questioned and stated the boy had gone missing from a playground while he went to purchase a soda. Although the story was inconsistent, police lacked evidence for conviction and Jones went off the radar.
Several sources have said new evidence has surfaced in the case, prompting the arrest of Jones, but failed to give the specifics.
Prior to being taken care of by Jones, the boy lived with his grandmother in Maryland. He had been cared for by several people because his mother served aboard a San Diego Navy ship.
Jones and Turner’s mother moved back to Maryland just a few months after the 2-year-old’s disappearance. In 2006, Jones was sentenced to 5 years in prison due to an unrelated assault charge in connection with a shooting in Maryland.