Florida mom recollects 12-year-previous kid’s murder: ‘You just hardly ever know who’s close to you’

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Shantara Hurry has selected to relive the most horrific second of her lifetime in hopes other mother and father will not knowledge a related suffering.

The tragic circumstance involving her daughter Naomi Jones is showcased in the genuine-criminal offense docu-sequence on Investigation Discovery (ID), “Correct Conviction.”

For the present, decorated homicide prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi travels throughout the nation to take a look at how the nation’s best prosecutors tackled their toughest scenarios. It features interviews with cherished types, investigators, experts and other folks carefully linked to the cases.

Hurry told Online News 72h Digital she required to make positive her 12-year-aged kid will not be overlooked.


The situation of Naomi Jones is explored on Investigation Discovery’s (ID) “Correct Conviction.”

“I felt like my daughter’s story deserved to be listened to on a extra national stage,” she mentioned. “It is significant for me to be her voice.”

Hurry explained the Florida preteen as a “charismatic leader” and a fashionista – just one with significant dreams. In the episode, “The Missing of Innocence,” Hurry specific how the pair had an unshakable bond.

“We grew up jointly,” Hurry stated. “I experienced her when I was younger. A good deal of people today instructed me at first that your young ones are not your buddies, but she was incredibly considerably my most effective good friend. She inspired me when I wanted to be encouraged. She confirmed me like when I desired adore. She pushed me to hold heading when I felt discouraged. And of course, I did the identical with her. We were being so shut simply because we had been increasing up jointly.”

Hurry stated she continues to replay the past moments of their time together.

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Shantara Hurry (right) said she had an unshakable bond with her daughter Naomi Jones (left).

Shantara Hurry (right) reported she experienced an unshakable bond with her daughter Naomi Jones (left).

“I never thought that on my way to work that I would never ever see my daughter again,” she claimed. “I remember that working day as if it have been currently. I try to remember working late to do the job. I instructed Naomi, ‘Mama enjoys you, I’m heading to get the job done. I’ll see you when I get home. I have to have you to occur and lock the top rated doorway.’ Then I kissed her. I waited right up until I heard that leading lock, which was a deadbolt, before I headed to work. That was the final kiss and the previous ‘I adore you’ I gave to my little one.”

Hurry pressured that in her home there was a rigorous rule to never open up the doorway to any person even though she was at operate. If the family members canine wanted to be walked, all four young children desired to adhere with each other and never leave each and every other’s side. They were forbidden from talking to strangers.

Hurry reported her world came crumbling down May possibly 31, 2017. On that working day, Jones went lacking from her family’s apartment complex. Hurry was at function when a single of her sons called to convey to her they hadn’t seen Jones for an hour. Hurry quickly left do the job. Her Pensacola neighborhood was horrified by the news of the disappearance.

“I wouldn’t have ever imagined that so quite a few individuals would occur together to search, but they did,” said Hurry. “There was so considerably unity to locate my child. The local community banded collectively and did no matter what they could to test and uncover Naomi. I had under no circumstances seen something like it prior to.

“Folks everywhere just arrived ahead to give a supporting hand. I was basically bombarded on Facebook with potential customers. It was an intense and challenging predicament to be working with, and I was pulled in so several directions. But I also felt we experienced this kind of a robust basis. I was very hopeful that my daughter would appear dwelling.”

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Naomi Jones, seen here with the family dog, was described as an obedient child who was always with her siblings.

Naomi Jones, viewed in this article with the spouse and children canine, was explained as an obedient kid who was often with her siblings.

Deputies expended times exploring for Jones, and they been given investigative aid from the FBI. Qualified prospects from those people in the group ongoing to pour in. There was even a $20,000 reward for details major to Jones’ whereabouts.

But just days following a Florida Lacking Kid Alert was issued for Jones, her overall body was observed in a stream by fishermen. The creek was situated just about 5 miles absent. Preliminary autopsy final results indicated she was suffocated.

Hurry reported she was established to continue being sturdy for her a few surviving small children. But she struggled powering closed doors.

“I could not believe in any person,” she admitted. “I even now do not. The very same smaller circle of mates I experienced again then are the identical ones I have now. But I had to be there for my youngsters, no make any difference how a great deal I was hurting. And I realized some persons immediately assume negatively of preteens and adolescents. I knew my daughter and the type of particular person she was. Not all little ones are runaways. Not each and every scenario is the exact.”

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Robert Letroy Howard of East Brewton, Alabama, was arrested June 8, 2017. 

Robert Letroy Howard of East Brewton, Alabama, was arrested June 8, 2017. 
(Escambia County Sheriff’s Business office through Online News 72h)

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said that Robert Letroy Howard generally “frequented” the home of his girlfriend in the Aspen Village condominium complex the place Jones and her family members lived.

Investigators came into make contact with with Howard as they canvassed the community after Jones was claimed missing, Morgan stated. He added that Howard gave authorities “fake details” that he was in Alabama when the youngster disappeared.

In accordance to Morgan, surveillance online video captured Howard close to the creek exactly where Jones’ system was observed. Investigators put him under surveillance and took him into custody soon right after. Morgan stated the girlfriend’s apartment is “really shut” to the Jones apartment.

Data display Howard is from East Brewton, Alabama. He was convicted in 1999 on two counts of sexual assault and rape. He served 15 decades in an Alabama prison.

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Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Detective Michelle Wert at a crime scene.

Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Detective Michelle Wert at a criminal offense scene.

Howard was arrested on prices of kidnapping, killing and disposing of Jones’ physique. In an interrogation video, Howard confessed to strangling Jones and throwing her system in 8 Mile Creek.

It would just take a grueling 4 yrs of delays right until Howard was finally located responsible of initially-diploma murder in 2021. Chief Assistant State Legal professional Bridgette Jensen argued that Howard kidnapped Jones with the intention of sexually assaulting her and then murdered the baby to cover up the crime. The 43-12 months-aged was sentenced to lifestyle in prison with no the probability of parole.

“Naomi was 12 many years old,” Nicolazzi advised Online News 72h Electronic. “It’s important to inform her tale since she could be anyone’s little one, sibling, pal. It damage to explain to her tale because there is an more level of anguish when wondering about boy or girl homicide. But this occurred, and Naomi warrants for us to consider about it, recall her for who she was and all that she could have been.”

“Her mother Shantara is remarkable,” Nicolazzi shared. “She is comprehensive of coronary heart even in the wake of such reduction. She channels her suffering for the great of others, and that is inspiring to me. On ‘True Conviction,’ we want to give voice to the voiceless, and highlight the paths to justice. There is so considerably to these situations, these individuals, over and above the headlines. Sharing that with our audience is what ‘True Conviction’ is all about.”


Shantara Hurry spoke out on

Shantara Hurry spoke out on “True Conviction” in hopes her daughter’s memory will never be forgotten by the community.

Hurry stated there was an overwhelming sense of reduction to know her daughter’s killer wouldn’t harm any one else all over again.

“I want people to recognize that you can by no means really feel so secure wherever,” she warned. “Irrespective of whether you live in a gated local community or a reduced-earnings community, predators are all over the place. Naomi was a youthful girl who was so obedient, extremely Southern, very respectful. It’s so critical to teach your little ones and be knowledgeable of your surroundings. My daughter was so substantially extra than just a tragedy. You just in no way know who’s around you.”

The ‘True Conviction’ episode titled ‘The Loss of Innocence’ can be streamed on discovery+. The Online News 72h contributed to this report.

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