On September 5, an Amber Alert was released for a 12-year-old Mississippi girl named Chrystance Walters.
According to initial reports, Walters was reported missing by her mother around 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Walters’s mother told the authorities that the 12-year-old was taken by her boyfriend, 42-year-old Johnny Jones.
Capt. Brian McGairty of the Pearl, Mississippi, Police Department told the media that the Amber Alert was the result of an argument between Walters’s mother and Jones:
“I believe there was a disturbance at the car, and the child was already in the car with this Johnny Jones and that’s when the car left the scene, against the mother’s will as the mother was begging (Jones) not to leave.”
McGairty continued by saying that at the time of the alleged kidnapping, Jones was already on probation for an earlier kidnapping charge:
“Ironically enough, he’s currently on probation for kidnapping. He was actually wanted prior to today’s offense for a probation violation on the original kidnapping charge.”
A little over four hours after Walters was allegedly kidnapped, someone other than Jones dropped the girl off at her grandmother’s house. The Amber Alert was called off, while the search for Jones continued.
As WAPT reported, around 1:15 p.m. that same day, Jones’s black 2006 Chrysler 300 was found abandoned.
Despite his previous record of kidnapping and other violent crimes, a video posted to Jones’s Facebook of Walters suggests that he didn’t actually kidnap the 12-year-old earlier this week.
In the video, Jones is heard asking Walters if he kidnapped her, to which she replies by simply saying “no”:
The video further reveals that Walters’s mom told her not to get out of the car despite the authorities saying that the woman begged Jones not to leave with her daughter.
However, both the police and people close to the family say they are skeptical of the Facebook video. McGairty told Mississippi News Now that the 911 calls started around 3 a.m., three hours before Walters was reportedly kidnapped:
“Initially we received a call around 3 a.m. from the child saying ‘My mom and her boyfriend are fighting.’ Well, police responded and obviously didn’t see any wrongdoing, as the mother stated everything was fine.”
Neighbors told Mississippi News Now that kids in their neighborhood usually leave for the bus around 7:30 or 8 a.m., so 6:30 a.m. seemed like an odd time for Walters to be in the car.Sa’Lee Sa’lee/Facebook
Those close to the family said that if what Jones is saying is true, then he should turn himself in and tell his side of the story. Thelma Dobson-Brown, another neighbor who knows the family, explained:
“You may not even go to jail, just go in and tell the truth. That would eliminate a lot of this.”
McGairty seconded Dobson-Brown. He told Mississippi News Now that the current kidnapping, motor vehicle theft and probation violation charges against him could be dropped if he came forward with the truth and that new charges could be brought against Walters’s mom “for misrepresentation to a police officer”:
“And those would be looked at very highly if there’s misrepresentation. We don’t mean that as a threat to the mother. It’s just to allow the justice system and our department and our agency to make sure we’re running efficiently.”
McGairty asked that anyone with knowledge of Jones’s whereabouts should call the Pearl Police Department.