JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Family members of a missing 16-year-old Jacksonville girl were told Monday night that she died on the December day that she never made it home from high school, sources told News4Jax.
Iyana Sawyer, described as a straight-A student, was last seen on surveillance video leaving Terry Parker High School on Dec. 19. She was five months pregnant at the time.
The family's attorney, John Phillips, could not comment on the case. He released this statement on Twitter:
Sawyer's uncle, Johnathan Quiles, 33, is suspected in both Sawyer's pregnancy and her disappearance. Sources confirmed Quiles' wife gave birth to a child on Monday night.
Quiles is in custody at the Duval County jail on an unrelated felony sexual battery charge. The victim in that case said she was babysitting Quiles' daughter when he raped her.
During a bond hearing on that charge, prosecutors disclosed suspicions of Quiles' possible involvement in Sawyer's disappearance, accusing him of admitting to a fellow inmate that he may have impregnated Sawyer.
Between Dec. 21 and Jan 2, Quiles posted nine times on Facebook about Sawyer's disappearance and pleas for help finding her, including:
"My niece hasn't came home in two days, if anyone sees her please call the cops, grab her up, follow her or call me," he wrote Dec. 21.
Five days later, he posted: "If anyone has information on my niece please call or text me."
A manager at Ace Pick-a-Part, where Quiles worked, said he was "shocked to hear the accusations."
For several weeks, investigators searched a landfill on Otis Road north of Baldwin for evidence in Sawyer's disappearance, but police have not discussed what if anything they found.
One mom of a Terry Parker student hopes detectives can give the family closure soon.
"Figure it out and bring everything to a close so the family can have some closure," the parent told News4Jax Tuesday.
Another says Sawyer's case is another reason she tells her child never to leave school unless her ride is there.
"I don't care if you know them or not. I don't care if it's a relative or not and I don't text you, 'Hey, someone else is coming to get you from school.' You don't get in the car with no one," she said.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Sawyer is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-845-TIPS.