Naomi Jones remembered as a happy, caring child

Photo: Naomi Jones

Dancing, smiling and full of life. That's how Naomi Jones' former principal will remember the child whose life was taken too soon.

Channel 3's David Gonzalez spoke with Naomi's former principal of Ferry Pass Elementary School, Rhonda Shuford. She said the school is mourning the shocking loss of its former student.

Shuford said one of the last memories she has of Naomi is at the 5th grade banquet. She remembers the vibrant 12-year-old dancing, smiling and just being really happy.

Naomi was a rising 6th grader and was looking forward to attending Ferry Pass Middle School, where she aspired to join the cheer squad, Shuford recalled.

Shuford said Naomi was a good student and a caring person. The big sister also had younger siblings that attended the elementary school.

Naomi's mother, Shantara Hurry, allowed Channel 3 News to share a video of Naomi showing off slime she made. In the video she sings songs and dances a bit.

Underneath the video, which was posted on June 4, someone wrote, "This breaks my heart."

Fishermen found her body in 8 Mile Creek Monday, five days after her mother reported her missing. Thursday, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan announced the arrest of a convicted sex offender, Robert Howard, for her murder.

His girlfriend lives in an apartment complex near where Naomi and her family reside, Sheriff Morgan said. Federal agents are still investigating this case.

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