Police search for missing Ohio family after man found dead in Miami motel room
Michael Evans wanted in Ohio; Kristy Evans, 7-year-old daughter, Jala Barnett, missing
MIAMI – Miami police are searching for a missing family from Ohio after a man was found dead inside a motel where the couple and their child are believed to have stayed.
The victim was identified by police Monday night as Joseph Moniz, 46. His body was discovered in a pool of blood about 11:15 a.m. Saturday inside a room at the Sunshine Inn Motel on West Flagler Street.
Miami police Lt. Carlos Castellanos didn't disclose how Moniz died, but his death was ruled a homicide.
During the death investigation, "(detectives) determined that there was, at one point, a couple and a young child that were guests at this motel," Castellanos said.
Castellanos identified them as Michael Evans, Kristy Evans, and her daughter, Jala Barnett, 7.
Michael Evans is a fugitive who fled from authorities while on house arrest, awaiting trial on assault charges. Kristy Evans and Barnett had been reported missing from Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in early May. Police believe Michael Evans is the girl's stepfather.
"The nature of how they may know each other is still being looked into," said Castellanos. "We're still seeking them in order to clarify... what the relationship was."
Police believe the family is driving a blue 2005 Audi A4 with temporary tags BDK6156 (similar to image).
"Our priority here is to try to find this young girl," Castellanos said.
Anyone who may have had contact with the family is asked to call Miami police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
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