Looking back at Lonzie Barton's tragedy
Mother, boyfriend serving prison sentences for involvement
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Monday will mark two years since the start of the search for Lonzie Barton, one of the biggest missing-child cases in the Jacksonville area.
Lonzie's case ended in tragedy when the 2-year-old’s remains were found in woods off Interstate 295 in the city’s Bayard area following a six-month search.
News4Jax reporter Ashley Mitchem spoke with Lonzie's family members to find out where they are now. They walked her through the timeline of events that caused such angst in the community.
Lonzie became a household name when he was reported missing by his mother's boyfriend, Ruben Ebron on July 24, 2015, around 2 a.m. But from the start police had their suspicions.
Ebron initially told police his car was stolen with Lonzie inside. At the time, he told police the boy's name was Aaron. Ebron’s car was found about 20 minutes later with no sign of Lonzie. It wasn't until three hours after Lonzie had been missing that the Amber Alert calling him Aaron was changed to Lonzie.
Later that day, Ebron was arrested on two child neglect charges.
On Aug. 18, 2015, Lonna Barton, Lonzie's mother, was arrested after police said she gave a false statement. She was also later charged with child neglect.
On Jan. 11, 2016, Ebron led investigators to Lonzie's body, which was in a pile of trash on property in the Bayard off Philips Highway near State Road 9B. Ebron admitted he and Lonna were having sex while Lonzie drowned in the bathtub.
Ebron later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is serving 20 years in prison. Lonna Barton is serving a five-year prison sentence.
Their sentences do not include the drug convictions in Baker County, which is where the two will go when they are released from the Duval County Jail.
Ebron will serve five more years and Lonna Barton will serve seven more years in the Baker County Jail.
Early release is not off the table in their cases.
Lonna's mother currently has custody of Lonzie's 7-year-old sister.
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