Four years after a pregnant teenager disappeared in Florida, the man she had maintained was the father has been indicted on a murder charge. Police in St. Petersburg announced on June 27 that Jacobee Flowers, 27, had been indicted by grand jury for the first-degree murder of Morgan Martin, 17, in 2012. Flowers had claimed that he was not the father of her baby girl, who was to be named Ja’Leah Raquel. Documents in the case state that authorities believe Flowers “planned Morgan’s murder and disposed of her body.”
The teenager’s body has not been recovered. She was last seen in July 2012.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Flowers Refused to Co-Operate With Detectives When He Was Told of the Indictment
Chief Anthony Holloway announced a press conference that Flowers is already in custody on an unrelated traffic charge. WFLA reports that Flowers was formally indicted on June 23. Chief Holloway added that the case had been reopened by the Cold Case unit and investigators followed up leads in Alabama and Florida. He also said that detectives think there are still people out there with information surrounding Martin’s disappearance.
Josh Casico of Fox Tampa tweeted that Flowers “wouldn’t take with detectives” when the indictment came down. Back in January 2013, St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz told Tampa Bay Online that Flowers’ “cooperation level has been very high.”
2. He Had Already Claimed That He Was Not the Father of Morgan’s Baby
In a July 2015 interview with ABC Tampa, Flowers maintained that was not the father of Martin’s baby and that the pair were not in a sexual relationship. He said that he knew Martin from around his neighborhood and that the last time he saw her was months before she vanished.
When Flowers was asked why Martin would make up that the two were in a relationship, he said, “I have no idea. I don’t know if that is something she could have said. I mean, she is obviously younger than me, women lie about certain things at different times for many different reasons.” While he said of the local police, “I feel like this is a situation where they need somebody to blame and right now I am that person to blame.”
You can watch the interview above where Flowers also highlights the lack of evidence against him saying, “I feel like nobody can prove this. There are no eyewitnesses. Anybody can make up a story that doesn’t necessarily make it true…I have nothing to hide.”
St. Pete Police Assistant Police Chief Jim Previtera told the station that Flowers “clearly was the last person to see her alive.”
3. Flowers Was Previously an Architecture Student at St. Petersburg College
According to his Facebook page, Flowers was a student at St. Petersburg College where he studied architecture. He’s a native of Saint Petersburg and lives in Tampa. Flowers is a graduate of Boca Ciega High School. For his job, Flowers says, “Get It How I Live.”
4. In 2015, Flowers Was Arrested on a Parole Violation Charge
During his 2015 interview with ABC Tampa, Flowers said, “I’ve never been a bad person. I’ve been arrested before. I’ve committed some stupid mistakes, you know like driving or fleeing and alluding, that type of stuff but I’m not a monster. I don’t have any violent charges.”
The same station would report in August 2015 that Flowers had been arrested on charges of “fleeing and alluding, driver on a suspended license and violating parole.”
5. Martin Is Survived by Her Mother & Older Siblings
Tampa Bay Online interviewed Martin’s mother, Leah, on her daughter’s due date, January 4, 2013. She told the website, “I’d love to get a hospital call; I’d love to. I’d give my life right now to have somebody say something.” Leah Martin also explained the night her daughter vanished saying, “I told her just to stay away in the house and leave him alone and she just wanted to tell him she was having a girl.” That piece mentions that Martin was being mourned by her mother, and older siblings, a sister, 23, and a brother, 26.