Uncle suspected in missing pregnant teen case: 'I am not a monster'

Iyana Sawyer, 16, was last seen Dec. 19 leaving Terry Parker High School

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the uncle of Iyana Sawyer sat in jail on a sexual battery charge, police questioned him about the disappearance of the pregnant high school girl who went missing just before Christmas.

Digging through documents, audio and video evidence in the case against Johnathan Quiles released Friday, we learned why.

During an interrogation, a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detective told Quiles that his brother told them Quiles admitted to choking Sawyer. The detective said Quiles' brother told them: "She wasn't dying right and it was making Quiles sick looking at her."

Detective: The question for you, Johnathan: Are you a monster? Are you?
Quiles: I’m not a monster. Not at all.
Detective: Look at her face. They need closure.
Quiles: I ain’t gonna look at her face. I’m not a monster. I had nothing to do with her disappearance.

Quiles admitted that Sawyer and other relatives stayed at his home for weeks, but he denies having anything to do with the pregnant teen's disappearance. The victim Quiles is accused of forcing to have sex is also a relative.

He told investigators that he was accused of sexual assault by family members when he told them to stop causing conflict with his wife. He denied having sex with Sawyer, saying "I have nothing to hide."

But detectives said they found a love note on Sawyer's computer they believe is about Quiles.

"(Police) were looking on her computer and said they were finding stuff on the computer that she is authoring that's implying a sexual relationship with you," the investigator told Quiles. "It's almost like a love affair."

Documents in the case show investigators also found a love letter, writing, "She's speaking from the dead. Four pages at different times ... professing her love and how she wants to run away and ya'll are just going to be that little family."

While Quiles is not facing any charges in the Sawyer case, he is considered a suspect in both her pregnancy and her disappearance

Sawyer's family members have been told the 16-year-old girl died on Dec. 19, 2018, the day she never made it home from Terry Parker High School. Her body has not been found.

Text messages contained in evidence obtained from the State Attorney's Office on Friday indicate that he was expecting to be charged with the teenager's death.

"I love them like my own daughters," Quiles texted an apparent family member. "This is an act of pure desperation to put me away for the rest of my life."

A voicemail from a girl was also released, asking if Quiles wanted to talk:

“Hey this is (inaudible). If you still want to talk, or thinking about it, I only have my friends phone for a little bit longer so you can call back or you can continue to text."

The girl in the voicemail was not identified by police, but text messages between Quiles and a girl were also realeased. A text from Quiles' phone read: "Oh baby, I can’t really talk. You have everyone thinking that I’m a monster. I said that I know you was pressured to say those things about me."

Another text from Quiles' phone read: "You both know that I never did anything inappropriate to you both at all and I only tried to be a father in both of your lives."

A third text from Quiles' phone read: “I wish you would tell them the truth like you did before when they asked you guys if I ever got fresh with you guys. I know you will make this all right. I love you very much but I can’t talk to you until all of this is over."

A text in response to Quiles read: “That would be a lie, and I’m not getting charges for you."

Quiles remains in custody at the Duval County jail on the sexual battery charge. The victim in that case said she was babysitting Quiles' 3-year-old daughter when he approached her sleeping on a couch, rubbed her back, removed her clothes and had sex with her. The victim reported the assault to her mother one year after she said it happened.

During a bond hearing earlier this year, 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.

Anyone who saw Iyana Sawyer after she left Terry Parker on Dec. 19 or has any information about what happened to her is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-845-TIPS.

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