The already horrific tale of missing 12-year-old Jonathan Foster added more tragic pages to the telling as Houston Police arrested Mona Yvette Nelson, a 54-year-old acquaintance of the Davis family, for the slaying of the youth. Police said Wednesday evening that Nelson was charged with capital murder in the killing of Jonathan Foster, whose badly burned body was found discarded in a ditch on Tuesday, after she admitted to dumping his body. However, according to the Houston Chronicle, authorities say she has refused to admit she killed the boy.
Surveillance cameras picked up the images of a woman exiting a pick-up truck at a place of business in northeast Houston and depositing the remains that would later be identified as Jonathan. Nelson later admitted to being the woman in the video. A witness also placed her outside the residence where Jonathan Foster lived with his mother and stepfather, Angela and David Davis, on Christmas Eve, the day he went missing.
Police believe Nelson took the 12-year-old to her home and killed him. Investigators found burned carpet at Nelson’s home. They also found twine that seemed consistent with string found with the burned body.
Houston Police have yet to determine a motive.
Jonathan Foster vanished under what authorities called “suspicious circumstances” on Dec. 24. Although there had been speculation concerning the involvement of the stepfather, possibly due to his admission that he may have been the last person to see Jonathan, police admitted to being puzzled by all the conflicting information they were receiving from family members and friends. The confusion led to a three-day delay before an Amber Alert was issued, even though a Missing Child Alert was sent out the day the 12-year-old disappeared.
Establishing where the young boy was last seen was also made difficult when Angela Davis lied to police about where he was that day. She said he had been at the babysitter’s and went home to get a video game. Authorities later found out via the mother’s admission of committing a falsehood to avoid the embarrassment that she had left her son home alone Christmas Eve. Adding the babysitter had complicated matters, forcing inconsistencies in the stories being told. But David Davis was determined to be the last person to see Jonathan that day, having stopped by around 1:45 p.m. to check on him.
Then Angela received a strange phone call at work. A colleague summoned her to the phone after being told that the call was an emergency. Davis called her home and a woman with a raspy voice answered. After Davis identified herself, she asked whom she was speaking with. The female instead asked someone off phone if Angela was their mother. Davis heard a “yes, ma’am” and then the phone went dead.
Racing home, she and family members searched for about an hour, then called the police. Authorities noted that they arrived between 3:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Earlier reports indicated that Angela Davis notified police at 9:30 p.m. that evening but clarified later that the later time was the official time that a missing persons report was filed for Jonathan Foster.
Later, when the Amber Alert was issued, investigators reported that Jonathan might have been accompanied by a woman with a raspy voice.
It is as yet unknown if the woman with the “raspy” voice that Davis heard on the telephone and Mona Yvette Nelson are one and the same.
As noted, Nelson has denied killing Jonathan Foster.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Nelson’s connection to the Davis family was through their sometime babysitter, Sharon Ennamorato. Nelson has spent time in prison as well, although the Chronicle was unable to determine the length of time she spent behind bars. She apparently had her probation for an aggravated battery charge revoked in 1991. The paper was unable to find documents revealing what caused her probation to be revoked.
Mona Nelson was to attend a court hearing Thursday but an unexplained medical issue arose that kept her from appearing. Prosecutors presented evidence against her in her absence and she was ordered held without bond.
Dale Lezon, “Police: Suspect admitting dumping body in Christmas killing,” Chron.com