Skip to comments.Missing toddler wasn't at park, police conclude
Posted on 05/02/2002 9:45:25 AM PDT by brneyedgirl
San Diego police have concluded that 2-year-old Jahi Turner and his stepfather did not visit a Balboa Park playground the day the stepfather reported the child missing.
Police have discounted the story of the stepfather, Tieray Jones, because of inconsistencies in his account of what happened and because results of a lie-detector test indicated deception by Jones, said county law enforcement sources familiar with the case.
Jones, 23, told police he left Jahi in the play area at 28th and Cedar streets last Thursday while he walked to a soda machine 100 yards away, then returned 15 minutes later to find the toddler gone. Police classified the case as an abduction.
However, evidence technicians found no fingerprints from Jahi on the playground equipment, such as swings or the slide, indicating the boy likely had not played there recently, sources said. Criminalists lifted Jahi's fingerprints from inside the family's Golden Hill apartment for comparison, the sources said.
Jones was questioned extensively yesterday by homicide detectives, who for the first time confronted him about inconsistencies in his story, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because details of the case are confidential.
The sources stopped short yesterday of saying Jones is a suspect, and declined to indicate whether they believe Jahi is dead. However, police continued to sift through tons of garbage at the Miramar landfill. Trash collected from the Joneses' apartment complex and from the playground is taken to that dump site.
The child's mother, Tameka Jones, an 18-year-old Navy seaman assigned to the amphibious ship Rushmore, was aboard the ship when the child went missing.
Although police have said little officially about the investigation, department spokesman Dave Cohen confirmed yesterday that detectives have found nothing or no one to confirm Tieray Jones' account of how and when the boy disappeared. He said police are still searching for a woman Jones described as being at the park with two children last Thursday.
Police thought they had found and talked to the witness, whose composite sketch is being circulated by hundreds of volunteer searchers. But the woman interviewed this week turned out to have been in another area of Balboa Park, Cohen said.
Yesterday, dozens of detectives in protective gear continued searching debris from a specific section of the massive Miramar landfill. Police will not say what they're looking for, but landfill officials said the detectives are focusing on trash collected on one day last week, from neighborhoods that include South Park and Golden Hill.
Trash is picked up on Wednesdays in that area. Jahi's stepfather reported him missing last Thursday.
At the landfill, bulldozers carry loads of trash to a wide area, where it is spread out. Detectives work in a penetrating stench day and night, sifting the ankle-deep garbage with rakes and shovels. A search of this magnitude is believed to be unprecedented.
Some 100 Marines were expected to be brought in at 7 a.m. today to assist in the landfill search, which Cohen said is likely to go on for several days.
"I can't tell you specifics, but there is a particular area of the dump we want to focus on," Cohen told reporters in a late-afternoon briefing at the landfill. "We will continue to be here 24 hours a day as long as it takes to get through the area we want to.
"We're looking for any clue as to what happened to Jahi," he added. "We have to be out here in a certain time frame to do it, or it gets much more difficult to do."
About 5,000 tons of trash is collected and dumped in one day, landfill officials said.
In another development, a retired Navy master chief from Rancho Bernardo offered a $10,000 reward "for the safe return of Jahi Turner to his family."
The 48-year-old donor, David Curry, said he is not a deep-pocket philanthropist but was moved by the family's ordeal.
"Being a father and being in the Navy, I could not even imagine what it would be like to lose a kid that way," he said.
The alternate theory, of course, could be that he had it in for this boy from the beginning; that Step-Daddy wanted Mama all to himself and resented the presence of the boy, resented having to take care of him while Mama was on cruise, and he was going to kill the boy sooner or later, one way or another and it took every ounce of his feeble brain power to concoct the cockamamie park abduction story.
How could one not miss seeing Brenda Van Dam! She's still trying to stretch her 15 minutes of fame into a hour.
I gotta agree with Calico. That stepfather just didn't come off quite right. Poor kid.
Yup- takes more maturity than this guy has to take care of another man's offspring while mom is out of town. Absolutely a recipe for disaster.
That poor kid - and mom is partly to blame, unfortunately for her she gets to deal with that forever.
Its a documented fact that boyfriends, live-ins, and step parents make the great majority of child physical and sexual abuse cases. Of course, liberals will tell you that there are all sorts of 'new types' of families and that nickel and dime divorce is a no thing privation - all of it is a huge lie.
Proving what we know will take longer...
Saw a documentary about lions once on PBS. When one male lion drives out another one and takes over the pride, the first thing they do is kill all the cubs. That puts the females into estrus immediately, and the new leader's genes are passed on instead of the former leader's.
I think about that documentary every time I hear about a stepdad or boyfriend who's beaten some other man's child to death.
I'm being generous with Theory 1. I think he killed the baby, but I'll allow for the possibility that it wasn't premeditated.
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