Missing Since: July 20, 1995 from Tacoma, Washington
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: January 3, 1992
Age: 3 years old
Height and Weight: 3'0, 40 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Jones's hair was braided at the time of her 1995 disappearance. Her nickname is Noria.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: Blue or turquoise pants and a black t-shirt with an image of the character Barney imprinted on it.
Medical Conditions: Jones was born with cocaine in her system and suffers from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a result. At the time of her disappearance, she was taking the prescription medication Norpramin to control the condition.
Details of Disappearance
Jones was last seen with her great-aunt, Berlean Williams, on July 20, 1995 in their hometown of Tacoma, Washington. Williams had legal custody of Jones at the time and was in the process of adopting the child. She also ran a day care center. The identity of Jones's father is not known, and her mother had her legal rights to her daughter terminated by 1995. Jones and her mother had never lived together; her mother gave her to relatives to raise when she born. She spent the first two years of her life living with relatives in the Spokane, Washington area before being placed in Williams's care. Jones's mother resided in Arkansas in 1995.
Williams initially told authorities that Jones disappeared inside the Targetstore on South 23rd street in Tacoma during the day. Investigators believed Williams's account until Target management provided a security videotape showing Williams entering the store alone. There was no sign of Jones anywhere nearby. Williams reported her grand-niece's disappearance to police at 9:42 a.m., but at 8:47 a.m. she had called her daughter and said she did not know the child's whereabouts. She had no explanation for why she waited an hour to alert authorities that Jones had vanished.
Williams changed her statements to authorities numerous times after the discovery of the videotape. Among Williams's claims were the stories that Jones wandered away from her home, was abducted from the Target parking lot and that two unidentified African-American men kidnapped Jones near their residence on south Sheridan Avenue. Williams then said that the child was safe and living in an undisclosed location. Jones's mother says she called Williams and asked to speak to Jones two days prior to the child's disappearance, but was not permitted to talk to her. Authorities placed Williams under house arrest for four months after Jones's disappearance for failure to provide case information. Her day care center was also shut down by the state. Williams has never been charged in connection with Jones's case. Her lawyer maintains that her accounts of Jones's whereabouts differed due to badgering by law enforcement.
Authorities have ruled out other members of Jones's family, most of whom live in Arkansas, as possible suspects in her disappearance. Some officials believe foul play may have been involved in her case; others believe she is still alive in an unknown location. Some investigators theorize that she may have died from an accidental overdose of Norpramin. She had been taking the drug for a matter of days prior to her disappearance. It is not usually prescribed for young children and has a number of serious side effects, including a skin rash, seizures and death, that can occur in the first few days after starting the medication. There is no evidence to support the overdose theory, however.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Tacoma Police Department