Sheriff: Missing Pensacola girl may have been targeted by sexual predator

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Preliminary autopsy results indicate a 12-year-old girl found in a Florida creek likely was suffocated.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said during a news conference Wednesday that Naomi Jones probably was killed in the first 24 to 36 hours after she was last seen on May 31 and said that the child may have been targeted by a sexual predator she had previously interacted with on social media.

He added that Naomi was active on social media, but says authorities don’t yet have a direct link to a suspect.

Morgan says investigators believe she was “picked up almost immediately when she left the house” and taken to another location. Fisherman found her body Monday several miles from her home.

Investigators are partnering with the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.