Stepfather of Jahi Turner arraigned on murder charge - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Stepfather of Jahi Turner arraigned on murder charge

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Tieray Dawayne Jones appears in a San Diego courtroom Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Tieray Dawayne Jones appears in a San Diego courtroom Tuesday, April 26, 2016.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Arraignment was held Tuesday afternoon for a man accused of murdering his toddler stepson, who was reported missing from a Balboa Park-area playground 14 years ago and whose body has never been found.

Tieray Dawayne Jones, 37, was taken into custody in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, last week on suspicion of killing 2-year-old Jahi Turner. He waived extradition and was booked into jail in San Diego Saturday.

RELATED: Jahi Turner's stepfather waives extradition, will be returned to San Diego

Authorities declined to disclose what led to the belated arrest in the high-profile case, which had proved so devoid of developments that it began to seem it would never be solved.

The suspect reported the youngster missing on April 25, 2002. At the time, he lived in a Golden Hill apartment with Jahi and the child's 18-year-old mother, Navy sailor Tameka Jones.

The stepfather told police he had brought Jahi to a park at Cedar and 28th streets, left him with a woman and several other children to get a soda from a nearby vending machine and returned to find them all gone.

The boy's disappearance prompted weeks of intensive searches of canyons, fields and neighborhoods in the area, as well as a grueling weeklong sweep of the Miramar Landfill.

The efforts turned up no evidence regarding what had become of Jahi, who soon was considered a probable homicide victim.

Seven months after the child vanished, his stepfather was arrested by a bounty hunter in San Diego and taken to Maryland to face unrelated drug charges.

In 2006, Jones pleaded no contest to an assault count stemming from a shooting in that state and was sentenced to five years in prison, according to the Frederick News-Post.

Throughout the last 14 years, detectives were intent on recovering the child's body as well as finding his killer, said police Capt. David Nisleit.

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