JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The State Attorney’s Office now considers a Jacksonville man a suspect in both the pregnancy and disappearance of his teenage niece who’s been missing for six weeks.
Prosecutors disclosed those suspicions Friday morning during a bond hearing for Johnathan Joyco Quiles, who’s currently in custody at the Duval County jail on a felony sexual battery charge.
Quiles, 33, is accused of admitting to a fellow inmate that he may have impregnated 16-year-old Iyana Sawyer, who was five months pregnant when she went missing Dec. 19.
Attorney John Phillips, who represents Sawyer’s family, said loved ones are aware of the allegations and they remain hopeful that the teen will be found alive.
“We condemn this rape in the strongest possible terms and ask the prosecutors and law enforcement to thoroughly investigate and prosecute Johnathan Quiles,” Phillips said in part.
Investigators have been searching for Sawyer for six weeks, most recently focusing on the Otis Road Landfill in Baldwin. Crews in protective suits could be seen combing through the landfill Thursday.
Few other details about the landfill search have been released.
Sawyer, described as a straight-A student at Terry Parker High School, was seen on surveillance video leaving school around lunchtime Dec. 19, but she never made it home afterward.
Weeks into the search, a warrant was issued for Quiles’ arrest in an unrelated sexual battery case.
According to a copy of his arrest report, the victim in that case told police she was babysitting Quiles’ daughter when he came into the living room and sexually assaulted her.
The report said Quiles’ case was routed to the Sheriff’s Office’s homicide, missing persons and sexual assault units. But Thursday was the first time he was labeled a suspect in the teen's disappearance.