Hear Ruben Ebron questioned by police
State Attorney's Office releases video, audio evidence in Lonzie Barton case
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The state attorney’s office released video and audio Friday of Ruben Ebron and Lonna Barton in the first hours after21-month-old Lonzie Barton was reported missing. Some of the video shows Ebron and this girlfriend at the time, Lonna Barton, in an iinterrogation room at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
At first, Ebron appeared very calm, recounting the events leading up to Lonzie’s disappearance. Once the questioning turns to drugs or holes in his story, Ebron appear to become frustrated.
Ebron said at point he and Lonna Barton are sitting in the room together and he told her that he wanted to leave and wait for investigators to call.
“We cooperated from the jump. From the gun,” Ebron told detectives. “Its (expletive) 11 something. That’s what, nine hours? What the (expletive) are we not cooperating? Now when you’re ready to leave and they say they need to get in touch with you, OK, we have a phone. You have phone numbers to get in contact with us.”
Investigators soon tell him that he is being held because of a driver’s license suspension. Shortly after, officers come back in and let Ebron know his story isn’t adding up.
Detective: “The times are not matching up. Your phone is not matching up. I’m just telling you. And there’s a lot more I’m not telling you.”
Ebron: “When I went back to the house, I probably changed, but I wasn’t honestly paying attention to the little details. “
Detective: “That’s not a little detail; that’s a huge detail.”
Ebron eventually told the detective that he feels his story is being twisted around and he would, “rather have a lawyer.”
Ebron: “What’s actually going on?”
Detective: “I’ve got a child missing. I’m worried about that child’s life. You’re worried about your rights.”
Ebron: “No, I’m worried about what’s actually going on. You guys ain’t telling me nothing.”
Detective: “You should be worried about that child.”
Ebron admitted to investigators that he left Lonzie and his 5-year-old sister alone in his running car to go upstairs for cocaine. Investigators told him because of that, he was under arrest for child neglect.
One investigator continues telling Ebron that his stories don’t add up.
Detective: “Dude, where do you think (Lonzie) is?”
Ebron: “I honestly don’t know.”
Detective: “What’s the most important thing to you?”
Ebron: “It’s getting this (expletive) out of the way, getting (expletive)* over with, and finding him.”
Detective: “That should have been your first answer.”
During Lonna Barton's investigation, a detective accuses her of lying and not saying everything she knows about what happened to Lonzie.
"I have no reason to harm my baby, or anything like that," she said. "If I knew where he was, I would (have) done (expletive) said something. Yeah, I (expletive) up by not calling and tell you..
One of the audio files released is a recorded jailhouse conversation between Ebron and Florida Times-Union reporter Larry Hannan a couple of months ago.
In the call, Ebron talks about not being able to see ex-girlfriend, Lonna Barton, who is Lonzie's mother, or his parents while he was in jail.
He also said that police keep telling him he's the key to knowing what happened to Lonzie. But he said that there are some inconsistencies on their end.
Hannan: "Can you say anything about what you do know that hasn't been revealed, obviously knowing we aren't the only two people on this phone conversation?"
Ebron: "Yeah. (laughs) I don't even know what day, I've seen certain things they report but I know they said I was lying but then the very next day they said, 'OK, you were correct about this stuff,' but they never reported that. They just stated he was lying the whole time and he's been lying."
Hannan also asked Ebron if he lied about anything or if he felt he'd been telling the truth.
"They're always going to say I'm lying,” Ebron answered.
Other calls and interviews with Ebron have also been released by prosecutors.
In one call to Ebron in jail, his mother tells him, "We have to find that child. We have got to find that child."
Ebron's mother said that his parents are supporting him.
His father tells him that they need closure on the case, and that Lonna Barton supports him and doesn't believe Ebron would harm Lonzie.
News4Jax is reviewing many more videos and audios released Friday, including the police interrogation of Lonna Barton from the same morning as Ebron’s interrogation, and a recorded session where the couple was recorded talking to each other.
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