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A 38-year-old Alabama man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and failure to register as a sex offender in connection with the the death of a 12-year-old girl, whose body was discovered last week in a stream about four miles from her Pensacola, Florida, home, reports CBS 47.

Robert Letroy Howard, 38, was arrested Thursday morning after the body of Naomi Jones was found by fishermen, writes the news outlet.

Deputies made initial contact with Howard during an early search for Naomi. But they later learned that he was a convicted sex offender who was visiting his girlfriend’s house near where where Naomi lived, notes the report. Investigators determined that he was in the area when the child disappeared. Further, video surveillance tapes placed him at the scene, the report says.

Investigators allege that Howard, who served a 15-year prison sentence after he was convicted on two counts of sexual assault and rape in 1999, kidnapped and killed Naomi before dumping her body, according to CBS 47.

Deputies say Naomi was  using the Marco Polo app, “a video walkie-talkie app, before she was murdered. Marco Polo is similar to Snapchat, except users can hold on to videos and revisit them whenever they like,”  writes the television news outlet.


12-Year-Old Missing Florida Girl Found Dead, Last Chatted With Friend On Facebook

The body of a 12-year-old African-American Pensacola, Florida, girl, who went missing last week after chatting with a friend on Facebook, was discovered Monday in a creek, reports The Pensacola News Journal.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, whose jurisdiction includes Pensacola, confirmed that fishermen found the body of Naomi Jones in Eight Mile Creek, culminating a massive search, writes CBS News Crimesider. Police have not made any arrests, but questioned two persons of interest in the case that could involve someone who knew the girl or the family, the report says.

Jones, who had graduated from fifth grade at Ferry Pass Elementary School, disappeared from her apartment complex on East Johnson Avenue on Wednesday, writes the news journal. Cops have not released a timeline of events detailing what happened to the young girl from the time that she went missing to her death.

Divers for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday continued to search the creek for evidence. First Judicial Medical Examiner’s Office said that examiners also began an autopsy, writes the publication.

She was looking forward to going to middle school, and she wanted to be a cheerleader,” said Ferry Pass Elementary School Principal Rhonda Shuford, writes the News Journal. “She was a very happy student and energetic, she was very caring about her family.”

SOURCE: Pensacola News Journal, CBS News


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