MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Montgomery County Police made an arrest in the death of a high school senior who went missing in January. His body was found a few days later.
Jailyn Jones, 17, was last seen on Jan. 21 and his body was found in a residential area of Germantown on Jan. 24 in a nearby creek. When police removed him from the water, they noticed that Jones had been stabbed multiple times in the head and torso. Police also found a pair of boots and jeans containing possible blood evidence. After an autopsy, his death was ruled a homicide caused by blunt force trauma, police said.
Police arrested 17-year-old Ta'Quawn Deon Henderson on Sunday after Henderson turned himself in. Henderson is charged with first-degree murder. He is being held without bond and is charged as an adult.
Through Ring doorbell cameras near Jones' residence, police determined Jones left his house alone around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 21. Investigators say that around the last time he was seen, Jones told multiple people he was going to see a person named "Tay." "Tay" was identified as Ta'Quawn Henderson, who was Jones' classmate at Northwest High School.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for Henderson's DNA. Ultimately, police found that Henderson's DNA matched one of the profiles on the boots and jeans that were found with Jones' body. The other DNA profile matched Jones.
On May 12, an arrest warrant was obtained, charging Henderson with first-degree murder.
Police are still actively investigating this case and say they are still "following the evidence." While a motive is not known, police confirmed that the teens went to school together and knew each other and believe more people could be involved in the teen's death.
“We are very confident that Mr. Henderson has played a significant role in this homicide and he has been charged as such," Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said. "We believe that there may be other contributing individuals involved in this investigation."
Jones's mother, Alexis McDaniel, has alleged that her son was a victim of bullying at Northwest High School.
“These people who killed my child they’re just hurt people," McDaniel, said. "Nevertheless, they have to pay for what they’ve done. I’ve cried the tears I’m going to cry, I’m tired of being angry. It’s not going to fix anything."
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WUSA9 reached out in January to the school district for comment following McDaniel's bullying allegations. A spokesperson for MCPS said privacy rules governing students prohibit them from answering specific questions relating to students, however, said Northwest High School and all of MCPS were "deeply saddened" by Jones' death.
Upon her son's accused killer getting arrested, McDaniel said she has gratitude knowing no other children could possibly be hurt by him.
"They're still breathing, they might spend the rest of their lives in jail but they still have their lives ... Jai'lyn is no longer here," McDaniel said. "They have cut him off. He didn't get to go to his prom, he didn't get to graduate, he didn't get to see his 18th birthday. They will, if they're fortunate enough, get to see their 18th birthday."
A preliminary hearing for Henderson is scheduled to take place on May 27.
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