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Trove of photos released from search for murdered pregnant teen

Johnathan Quiles indicted on murder charges in death of Iyana Sawyer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Documents released Friday from the State Attorney’s Office include hundreds of photos that were taken during a search for a missing pregnant teenager who investigators said was shot to death.

During the search for 16-year-old Iyana Sawyer, police sifted through more than 5,500 tons of trash. Sawyer’s body was never found.

According to documents, police watched the movement of buzzards at the Otis Road Landfill during their search, and even attempted to trap some of them.

Investigators with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office made discoveries including animal bones and a Terry Parker High School library book. Sawyer was a student of Terry Parker High School, and she was last seen leaving the school on Dec. 19, 2018.

Detectives also uncovered several pieces of women’s underwear. Investigators said one set of panties had DNA on them, but the DNA was not Sawyer’s.

The documents state that one of Sawyer’s relatives discovered a letter she’d written on her laptop that stated a man named Jose -- later identified as Johnathan Quiles -- was sexually abusing her and her sister.

READ: Indictment: Missing pregnant teen shot to death by uncle | Quiles: ‘I am not a monster’

Sawyer’s uncle, Quiles, 33, is suspected in both Sawyer’s pregnancy and her disappearance. He was indicted in July on murder charges in the death of Sawyer and her unborn child.

Contained in the documents was an interview with a detective whom Quiles had spoken with prior.

Detective: “We’ve met before, my name is Detective Adams, this is Detective Guthrie. We’ve got some new information to give you that’s why we are with you today. We met with the grand jury today on your case as well as several others, and you are being indicted on first degree murder..."

Quiles: “OK.”

Detective: “We would like to talk to you if you’re willing to speak to us”

Quiles: “I have an attorney who is representing me. She advised me not to talk to you without her present”

According to the documents, investigators also found blood in a red Mercury Grand Marquis at Quiles’ workplace, Ace Pick A Part. It’s unclear if investigators were able to determine to whom the blood belonged.

(Gallery below includes photos referenced in article)

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also seized Quiles’ SUV, but the documents state that nothing of evidentiary value was found inside.

Included in the documents was a photo of Quiles holding a handgun, possibly after he had been shooting at a range. There’s also a photo of the gun recovered from Quiles’ home.

Quiles is being held in jail without bond. His next court date is scheduled for March 10.


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