The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has announced a major breakthrough in the disappearance and murder of a 12 year old, whose body was found more than a week after she was last seen.
Officials say they have arrested Robert Letroy Howard, 38, a Brewton Ala. resident who frequented Aspen Village Apartments where his girlfriend resided, and where young Naomi Jones lived.
Investigators say they can place Howard at the apartment complex the day Naomi disappeared, and they have surveillance video of Howard’s vehicle near the creek where the girl’s body was dumped.
Investigators are fairly sure that Naomi and Howard were acquainted through everyday interactions at the complex, so she would have had misgivings about getting into Howard’s pickup truck on May 31st.
Sealing their faith that they have the right person, investigators say Howard served 15 years in prison for rape and sexual assault, though they won’t say if Howard sexually abused the girl.
Investigators believe Howard acted alone in the abduction and murder, which an autopsy says was asphyxiation.
Prosecutors say they will ask a judge to set no bond for Howard and that they may seek the death penalty if he is convicted.