Nine-month-old Jay-Quan was last seen at approximately 12:30 p.m. on April 22, 2004, at a strip mall in the 3000 block of Dunn Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida. He was accompanied by his mother, Lynda Jean Wilkes.
John Franklin Mosley Jr. (an acquaintance of Lynda's) says that he took Jay-Quan and Lynda for a drive that afternoon. He says he drove them to see a house that Lynda wanted to buy, then he dropped them off back at the shopping center after only a few minutes and went to work.
Jay-Quan & Lynda have never been heard from again and relatives reported their disappearances when Lynda did not pick up some of her other children from school. Her car, a red Ford Escort, was found abandoned in the strip mall's parking lot.
Police considered Lynda and Jay-Quan's disappearances suspicious from the beginning as Lynda's relatives all said that it was uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning, and she took no diapers or baby formula for Jay-Quan when they disappeared.
Lynda had four other children besides Jay-Quan, and was employed as a bus attendant. In the aftermath of her disappearance, her oldest daughter assumed care over one of her younger sisters and her two other children went to live with their father.
Two weeks after Lynda and Jay-Quan disappeared, Lynda's burned body was discovered in a remote wooded area on the property of a hunting club in Alachua County, Florida, fifty-five miles from Jacksonville.
Police announced that Lynda's death was a homicide and that they had reason to believe Jay-Quan had been murdered as well, but his remains were not with his mother's.
John was arrested on an unrelated sex charge after Jay-Quan and Wilkes disappeared. While still in jail, he was charged with two counts of murder in connection with Wilkes and Jay-Quan's cases on May 7, 2004.
Another suspect, a 15-year-old middle school student named Bernard Deon Griffin, was also charged with being an accessory after the fact. He voluntarily came forward to authorities on April 28, 2004 and said that he had helped dispose of the bodies, and led them to Lynda's corpse.
John had once dated his older sister, Vicky and Vicky stated that John lied to her about his age and marital status while they were seeing each other. She described him as possessive and violent and claimed he told her he wanted to have a baby named Jay-Quan killed to get revenge on the child's mother.
Bernard told police he burned Lynda's body and dumped it where it was found and he put Jay-Quan's body in a dumpster outside of Ocala, Florida.
Police searched the Onyx Landfill in Valdosta, Georgia for Jay-Quan's body, but turned up no sign of it. Wilkes's blood was found in John's vehicle, however.
Although he and Lynda had a sexual relationship and Jay-Quan bears his surname, John, who was married, said he wasn't the baby's father. A judge nevertheless had ordered him to make payments of $40 a week, or $2,080 a year, for Jay-Quan's support, pending a court hearing to establish paternity.
The prosecution suggested the motive for the murders was the child support payments: John knew he would be proven to be Jay-Quan's father and wanted to avoid the obligations associated with that.
John was tried in the fall of 2005 and Bernard testified that he saw John strangle Lynda with his bare hands. After she died, Bernard held a black plastic garbage bag open and John put Jay-Quan inside, and he suffocated. The defense called only two witnesses, John's wife and his mother.
In mid-November 2005, John was found guilty of the murders of Jay-Quan and Wilkes. The jury recommended that he be given life in prison for killing Wilkes and death for killing Jay-Quan, and he was formally sentenced in August 2006.
John maintains his innocence in Wilkes's murder and Jay-Quan's disappearance and stated he believed that Jay-Quan was still alive and he was framed by racist police and prosecutors. The Florida Supreme Court turned down his appeal and affirmed his death sentence in 2010.
In exchange for his cooperation and testimony against John, Bernard was given probation for his role in the murders. However, in 2009, after his third probation violation, he was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Lynda Wilkes's other son was shot to death in 2010, at the age of 17. The killer, who was 14 years old at the time, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for second-degree murder.
As of 2018, Jay-Quan has never been located, but foul play is suspected in his disappearance due to the circumstances involved.
Description[edit | edit source]
Jay-Quan is described as an African-American male with black hair, brown eyes, is 1'8 and weighs 20 pounds.