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/This article was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated to reflect Jones' sentencing and a new season of "Cold Justice. For more on "Cold Justice," watch all-new episodes starting Saturday, July 10 at 8/7c on Oxygen.
An Idaho man took a plea deal for the 2007 killing of a young mother whose case was profiled on Oxygen's “Cold Justice.”
Stephanie Eldredge, a 21-year-old mother of three, mysteriously vanished in 2007 from the Idaho Falls home she shared with her boyfriend and his half-brother Kenneth Jones, East Idaho News reports. Her body would not be discovered until three years later in 2010, buried in a shallow grave in the Ammon foothills. Because her body was exposed to the elements for years, it was hard to determine how she died, "Cold Justice" noted.
Jones, 33, pled guilty in 2020 to voluntary manslaughter and concealment for her death. He also admitted alteration or destruction of evidence, the East Idaho News reports. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in January 2021 -- Jones will serve a minimum of 6 years with 9 years indeterminate for manslaughter. Jones was also sentenced to a five year indeterminate term for concealing evidence and the burial of his victim’s body, as well as a one-year consecutive sentence for obstruction of justice, according to local station KIFI.
Investigators honed in on Jones as far back as 2009 when, while being jailed for an unrelated incident, he allegedly confessed to a cellmate that he killed Eldredge, East Idaho News reported last year. According to that alleged admission, he hit Eldredge in the back of the head at their home before suffocating her, wrapping her body in a blanket, putting it in the trunk of his car and disposing of it.
Still, investigators did not have enough evidence to charge Jones and the case went cold.
Eldredge’s death was featured on Oxygen’s “Cold Justice” in 2018. The show introduced the country to Eldredge’s family, who have been desperate to find justice for her. The series provided the local investigators with "resources and equipment" that allowed them to "more quickly conduct additional interviews of key witnesses and suspects in connection with the case,” the Idaho Falls Police Department stated in a 2019 press release. The show also provided funding for modern forensic testing of evidence.
By the following year, Jones was charged with second-degree murder in Eldredge’s death. He was already serving time for a third-degree arson case, which he was arrested for in 2011. He took a plea deal on Oct. 29 to the reduced charge of manslaughter.
“I pushed her, causing her to fall back and hit her head, which she never recovered from,” Jones said, according to local outlet the Post Register.
“Let’s all send positive thoughts and prayers to Marisol’s family, prosecutor Steve Young and Tod Moore with the Cottonwood PD as they fight for justice in trial,” "Cold Justice" prosecutor Kelly Siegler told Oxygen.com in a statement in 2020.
"Cold Justice" will return for new episodes Saturday, July 10 at 8/7c on Oxygen.
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