Questions surround Florida girl's death; homicide suspected

WKRG screenshot

The investigation immediately shifted into a homicide investigation, said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan, and persons of interest have been identified.

Experts who analyzed Jones' remains determined that the 12-year-old died in the first 24 to 36 hours after she went missing.

Morgan said homicide is suspected, but no arrests have been made.

Naomi Jones was last seen at her home at Aspen Village Apartments at around noon on Wednesday. No cause of death has been given, although Morgan has reportedly implied that drowning is likely. Detectives are interviewing people of interest, but authorities haven't released their names or their relationships to Jones. "Again, I caution everyone, that can be reduced to one or it could go to three or four". "She was a very happy student and energetic, she was very caring about her family".

Morgan said the last known communication with Naomi - a cellphone conversation with a friend - was at 12:21 p.m. Wednesday.

Hundreds of law enforcement officials, classmates and local residents took part in the search that covered fields, woods, bushes, trash cans and other spots.

Family members gathered Monday evening at the scene where the girl was found dead, where they cried, yelled out and prayed, reports WKRG.

By Sunday, a $20,000 reward had been offered for information about her whereabouts.

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