Police ID body found on Moncrief Road as 16-year-old

Police responding to report of man shot find body on road

By Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor, Scott Johnson - Reporter, Erik Avanier - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville police have identified the person found dead Sunday afternoon on Moncrief Road near the Ribault River as 16-year-old Marquette Clark.

His body was found just after 3 p.m. by officers responding to a report of a man shot on Moncrief Road at Ken Knight Drive, which is located by the Washington Heights Apartments. Police closed Moncrief Road in both directions for several hours while homicide detectives and crime scene investigators worked at the scene.

On Monday, officers were at the Washington Heights Apartments in Northwest Jacksonville, but it was unclear whether the police presence was related to the investigation into Clark's death. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has not confirmed the cause of death, saying that was up to the Medical Examiner's Office. Police had no information about who killed Clark, but called it an active murder investigation.

The teen's Facebook cover photo shows him next to the grave of Khamoi Petersen, 16, who was shot and killed in January 2017 outside the Jacksonville Landing. The shooting was later ruled a justifiable use of deadly force. 

Clark’s mother posted on Facebook, saying, “Wishing I could wake up from this Nightmare," “You were a great person” and “Anyone who knows anything please come forward. Pray for me and my family."

About 8 p.m. Monday, family members placed blue flowers and a small tombstone reading, "If tears can build a stairway, and memory’s a lane, I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you home again," next to a Crime Stoppers sign at the place where the teen's body was found.

A Washington Height Apartment resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told News4Jax that Clark was a good kid. 

“It’s sad because he was a respectable child. He had manners and it just sad for him to get killed the way he was killed," she said.

The woman said she was impressed by Clark when he came to her and asked for her permission to date her daughter. She said Clark's death has been hard on her daughter. 

“She cried all night and she’s still upset now about it," the woman said. "She came again today and said, 'Mom, was that really him?'" And I said, 'Yes, it was really him.'”

The woman said Clark regularly visited Washington Heights Apartments, which is located only a mile from his home on Rhode Island Drive. She said a lot of residents knew him and they are all mourning his death.

GO FUND ME: Clark's fifth-grade teacher sets up fund to to help family

Neighbors said it's not usually a violent area.

"I haven’t had any problems. It’s family oriented. It’s a lot of older families on this block," said George Lewis, who owns property in the area. "If something happens, it’s because it’s happening on the outskirts coming in."

But other neighbors said there have been visibly armed teenagers hanging out along Moncrief Road.

"About five guys walking around here with guns and they're on the corner," said one Moncrief Road resident, who did not wish to be identified. "Young boys who look about 15 or 16 years old."

Anyone with information about Clark's death is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).

According to News4Jax records, this was the 40th homicide of 2018, and the 18th death of a child under the age of 18 due to gun violence since 2016.

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