The investigation into the Christmas Eve disappearance of Jonathan Foster has become, at least in part, a homicide investigation. The discovery of a badly burned small body in northeast Houston prompted Houston Police to bring in the missing boy’s mother and stepfather, Angela and David Davis, and the 12-year-old’s babsitter for another round of questioning, according to KENS in San Antonio. Police are proceeding under the assumption that the burned remains, which were unrecognizable and sent to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences for identification, were those of Jonathan.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Sgt. Brian Harris of Houston Police Department’s homicide division noted, “The finding of the body kind of confirmed our worst fears.”
Police have been working the case at somewhat of a disadvantage, having discovered that the mother of the missing boy, had originally fabricated the story of her son being at a babysitter’s house, then leaving and not returning. According to police, she shamefully admitted to leaving her son at home alone to play video games on Christmas Eve when she went to work. As soon as the missing persons investigation began, police began getting conflicting reports as to Jonathan’s last known whereabouts.
The stepfather, David, told police that he last saw Jonathan at home around 1:45 p.m., when he came by to check on him. That admission would make David the last person to see the 12-year-old, because Angela Davis told police that she received a mysterious phone call at work from a woman with a raspy voice who then hung up on her.
She immediately went home, only to find Jonathan gone and the cordless phone missing. After searching with family and friends from the neighborhood, she called police. Although it was originally reported that Angela reported her son missing at 9:30 p.m., police actually arrived at Houston’s Villa Nueva Apartments between 3:45 and 4:15 p.m. (9:30 p.m. was the time when the official missing persons report was filed), just about an hour after she had arrived home to look for her son.
HLN’s “Nancy Grace” and other sources reported Tuesday that a car belonging to the stepfather was also taken into police custody shortly before the renewed round of questioning. Police have not offered an explanation why the vehicle was being searched. A computer was also taken from the Davis household, although investigators noted that it was being searched for possible child predation activity.
Davis, who police said was having problems with his wife, Angela, said Monday, according to KTRK-TV in Houston, ” I think a pedophile took him. That’s what I think and I want him back. I want revenge. Something, something like that, you know.”
Houston Police have maintained that everyone involved has thus far been cooperative with the investigation.
“There was some shame and embarrassment about leaving a kid home alone,” Sgt. Harris observed, “but it’s not unusual for a 12-year-old to be home alone.”
Houston Police issued an Amber Alert Monday once criteria were met to do so. Beforehand, police had issued a Missing Child Alert, which is a step below an Amber Alert.
It is unknown how much the misleading information provided by Angela Davis at the beginning of the investigation may have delayed the investigation and/or the issuing of the Amber Alert.
No suspects have been named in either the disappearance of Jonathan or in the dumping of the burned body.
Houston Police received a tip Tuesday alerting them to a badly burned small body just off of a roadway between two buildings. A police spokesperson noted that the body appeared to be at least three feet in length. Even though Jonathan Foster was 4′ 7″ tall, police would not rule out the possibility that it was the missing boy.
Neighborhood searches continued for the missing 12-year-old until nightfall, pending confirmation that the found burned remains are indeed those of the missing boy. In the meantime, investigators are also treating the Jonathan Foster missing person case as open.
The 12-year-old is described as being 4′ 7″ tall, weighing about 100 pounds. He has blue eyes and red or auburn hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a tan t-shirt with a guitar stencil on its front, and a gray hoodie. His shoes were white sneakers with a red stripe.
Anyone with any information regarding Jonathan or his whereabouts is urged to call the Houston Police Department at 713-731-5223 or Texas EquuSearch at 281-309-9500.
Lindsay Wise and Paige Hewitt, “Source: Body believed to be that of missing boy,” Chron.com
“Parents, babysitter questioned in 12-year-old’s disappearance,” KENS5.com
“Nancy Grace” Transcript – Dec. 28, CNN.com
Jessica Willey, “Source: Burned Body Believed to be Missing Boy,” ABCLocal.go.com