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A teenage suspect has been taken into police custody in connection with the murder of 17-year-old Maryland teen, whose body was found in a wooded area several months ago.
A 17-year-old suspect was arrested in the January murder of his high school peer Jailyn Jones, the Montgomery County Police Department announced on Monday. The teenage boy turned himself into authorities on May 15. Prosecutors have indicated the teenager will be charged as an adult. The accused teen hasn't been named by Oxygen.com, which typically doesn't identify minor suspects.
On Jan. 24, 2022, police responded to a call related to a possible dead body in a creek in the 18900 block of Grotto Lane in Germantown, Maryland. The teen, identified as Jailyn Jones, was pronounced dead on scene.
“Upon the removal of the body from the water, we noticed Mr. Jones had been stabbed multiple times and had wounds to his head, as well as his torso,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus G. Jones told reporters on May 16.
Several items of clothing were also found, including a pair of boots and jeans containing blood evidence. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner later ruled the 17-year-old’s death a homicide. He died from blunt and sharp force injuries. Jones’ mother had reported him missing a few days earlier after he didn’t return home, police said.
Investigators said Jailyn Jones had also told several individuals he’d been going to see the 17-year-old suspect shortly before disappearing. For months, however, homicide investigators didn’t make any arrests in the teenager death.
DNA found on the bloody boots and jeans recovered from the crime scene, however, ultimately connected the teen suspect to the alleged slaying, police said. Investigators subsequently obtained a warrant for his arrest last Thursday.
A motive in Jailyn Jones’ killing hasn’t yet been released by law enforcement. The two teenagers were acquaintances who both attended Northwest High School in Germantown, officials said. Jailyn Jones’ “heartbroken” mother, Alexis McDaniel, however, has been vocal that her son was bullied prior to his death several months ago, Washington, D.C. television station WTTG reported.
"There was a relationship between the two," Marcus Jones said. "Outside of being fellow students, we believe they are known to each other in the community. We are still trying to learn more facts about what might have caused this event to occur."
Northwest High School, which released a statement following Jailyn Jones’ death, described him as having a "large personality, infectious smile, and amazing spirit."
Investigators said they’re now looking into whether anyone else might have been involved in the Maryland teen’s slaying.
“This investigation is still very active,” Marcus Jones added. “We’re not done yet. We’re still interested in speaking to anyone who has any further information about this particular investigation, although we feel very confident that [the suspect] has played a significant role in this homicide and he has been charged as such, we believe there may be other contributing individuals involved. …There’s still more work that needs to be done.”
The jailed 17-year-old was denied bail at a bond hearing Monday, according to a spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. He’s now being held at a county detention center ahead of a preliminary court hearing on May 27.
State’s Attorney John McCarthy told reporters that prosecutors will likely move to indict the teenager prior to his next court appearance in just over a week.
“Clearly, this investigation into this case is not over,” McCarthy said during the press conference. “There are some logical reasons for us to believe that, there may be others involved, we’ll find out where that goes. We always follow the evidence and we’ll make those determinations.”
The accused teen hasn’t yet entered a plea on his behalf. It’s unclear if he’s retained legal counsel. No further information was released by authorities regarding the active homicide case this week.
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