Sheriff: Naomi Jones died of asphyxiation
PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) -- Naomi Jones likely died by asphyxiation 24 to 36 hours after disappearing, Sheriff David Morgan revealed in a news conference Wednesday afternoon. He declined to go into much detail, but said additional information from the Medical Examiner's office indicates she did not drown.
Naomi's body was found in 8 Mile Creek Monday. However, authorities have not located the actual crime scene, according to Escambia County Chief Deputy Chip Simmons.
There are currently three persons of interest in this case. Initially there were two.
"We have asked the FBI to conduct a nationwide search on any criminal activity or deaths that share in it the same elements that we now know from the Medical Examiner's report that would lead us to anyone else in the entire United States that a crime has been committed with the same means, modes and methods as Naomi met her demise," said Morgan.
Naomi's immediate family has been cleared of having any part of her homicide, Morgan said.
"If I was a parent and I had a child, I would be extremely terrified," Morgan said.
He said she was a "social media person." However, there is no link between someone she was communicating with online and her death.
He cautioned against kids using social media applications and urged parents to keep track of their children's whereabouts. He said the use of social media apps likely led to her death.
He appealed to the community to continue turning in tips.
"If you have any information or knowledge about Naomi that day, if you spoke to someone who believes that they did see Naomi that day anywhere in Escambia County, especially on the East Johnson Avenue area, please call the Escambia County Sheriff's Office."
According to ECSO spokesperson Amber Southard, the FBI is offering a $10,000 reward, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is offering $10,000 and Crime Stoppers is offering up to $5,000 for any information that can help solve this crime.
Naomi Jones mural painted over Graffiti Bridge
A mural was painted over Graffiti Bridge in Downtown Pensacola Wednesday as a memorial to Naomi Jones.
Joseph Seurkamp, who orchestrates the paintings, and artist Dakota Alualu collaborated on the mural to honor Jones, who went missing last week and whose body was found Monday.
They streamed it live on their Facebook page.
Seurkamp said it's usually a positive event or situation that spurs his artists to paint over the bridge, but that obviously wasn't the case in this instance.
He said the reason behind Wednesday's painting was for the people at Graffiti Bridge to do their part in the community to help celebrate Naomi's life.
"We come out and do these live streams for holidays and special events and we don't like to come out when there's a tragedy like this," Seurkamp told Channel 3 Wednesday. "We like to show respect where it's due. Anything we can do to bring attention to Naomi is our goal."
From the layout of the plan to the completion of the mural, which depicts a heart in between two wings, Seurkamp said the memorial took about a day to complete.
He said he has a group of artists that he plans murals with on a private Facebook page.
"Yesterday I reached out to them and put the ball in their court, like 'Who's up for doing the mural?"' Seurkamp said. "Dakota was up for it and I threw some ideas at him, maybe some wings, maybe this, maybe that and at that point, he ran with it. He mocked up a design yesterday and then got to it. The whole thing transpire within 24 hours."
Deliverance Tabernacle confirms there's a vigil Wednesday at their campus at 1780 West Detroit Boulevard.
There's also a candlelight vigil for Naomi at 7 p.m. Thursday at Olive Baptist Church in the rear parking lot.