Timeline: Find Lonzie Barton

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

The details of missing 21-month old Lonzie Barton: 

  • A car with a 1-year-old inside was reported stolen just before 2:30 a.m. Friday.
  • The car was found nearby, but the child was not in the car.
  • The child, Lonzie Barton, was wearing only a diaper.
  • A Florida Amber Alert was issued around 6:15 a.m. #FindLonzie
  • Barton has blonde hair, blue eyes and is 2 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 20 pounds.
  • The last person to see Lonzie was 32-year-old William Ebron Jr., the boyfriend of Lonzie's mother Lonna Lauramore.
  • Both Ebron and Lauramore were questioned by police. Ebron was charged late Friday night with 2 counts of child neglect.
  • Search efforts were scaled back Friday night due to nightfall while forensic teams continued to look inside Ebron's apartment.
  • The missing person case turned into a murder investigation on Tuesday, five days after the report. 
  • Anyone with information on Lonzie's whereabouts is asked to call JSO at call JSO at 904-630-0500 or email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org


Search for Lonzie Timeline:

Friday, July 31:

It has been a week since 21-month-old Lonzie Barton was reported missing in Jacksonville.

Officials have searched the Southside and Northside for Lonzie, including about 40 acres of land and 61 bodies of water. However, JSO Chief Tom Hackney said in a news conference that the search on the Northside would likely conclude Friday and the search on the Southside will be scaled down.

The Crime Stoppers reward for tips has been increased from $4,000 to $12,500. You can call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS to submit anonymous tips.

Those who want to contribute to the reward amount can go to the Crime Stoppers website. Click the “Donate” button at the bottom of the page and put “Enhance Reward in Lonzie Barton Recovery” in the purpose section.

Donations can be mailed to First Coast Crime Stoppers at P.O. Box 47875, Jacksonville, FL 32247-7875, with an "Enhance Reward in Lonzie Barton Recovery" note attached. You can also call 904-398-5883 to give a reward that will be applied to your credit card.


Thursday, July 30: 

The search for a missing 21-month-old expands Thursday into North Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office began the search for Lonzie Barton on the Southside after he was reported missing early Friday morning. His caregiver, Ruben Ebron, has been named as the suspect in his disappearance.

https://twitter.com/RussellANjax/status/626747845853466624


Wednesday, July 29:

Officials begin day six for the search of 21-month-old Lonzie Barton.

The search for Lonzie has spanned much of Jacksonville’s Southside. Officials don’t plan to stop looking for Lonzie until they find him.

JSO Chief Tom Hackney said officials have already searched over 2,500 acres and over 40 bodies of water on the Southside. Officials will now search from the south end of Trout River to the western Interstate 95 border, up to Nassau County.

JSO is asking for people with surveillance cameras to review their footage between Thursday at 8 p.m. to Friday at 2 a.m. If you see the orange Civic on surveillance video, please call JSO at 630-0500.


Tuesday, July 28:

The search for missing 21-month-old Lonzie Barton entered day five, and police have searched many areas on Jacksonville's Southside.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Tom Hackney announced that the missing person case for Barton is now being looked at as a murder investigation. 

Officials expanded the search to include parts of Greenland Road behind the Christ’s Church.

JSO searched dumpsters in the area. Officers also asked businesses in certain areas to stop pick up and not to use it while officials search for Barton. 

JSO released a statement saying they appreciate the donations of food, drink and supplies they have received. If anyone would like to help, contact the JSO volunteer and donation liaison at 904-314-6940. 

"Citizen support is crazy. The involvement we have had has been so overwhelming," Hackney said.


Monday, July 27:

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is continuing to search near the area of Philips Highway and Interstate 295 for 21-month-old Lonzie Barton. 

Barton was reported missing early Friday morning. Ruben Ebron, who reported the boy missing, has been named a suspect in the case. 

Police have received about 125 tips in the case. 

JSO Chief Tom Hackney said, "Missing parts of the timeline can only be filled by Ruben Ebron." 

Hackney said at some point officers will pull away from an Amber Alert case and work it as a murder investigation. 

A local Crime Stoppers Board Member is using his own money to increase the reward for tips in the Lonzie Barton case. That brings the total reward to $4,000 for an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest.


Sunday, July 26, (8 p.m.):
 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is still holding out hope that Lonzie Barton will be found alive. Police said they are not yet ready to label the search a recovery mission.

Chief Tom Hackney said the chances of the search extending into next week are very likely. Police continued searching bodies of water around the Southside Sunday.

"We're searching multiple bodies of water. It's the land of 1,000 retention ponds," Hackney said. "If there's a puddle, we're going to be in it."

Police said they have received over 70 tips from the Jacksonville community over the last three days of searching. Hackney said they are hoping someone spotted the vehicle that Ebron was driving the night Lonzie went missing.

Hackney said the orange vehicle Ebron was driving Friday night would have been on the Southside from 8 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

"Someone might have seen the car during that time frame ... that's what we care about," Hackney said.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding the vehicle and its whereabouts Friday night into Saturday morning, to call JSO at 904-630-0500

or email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org

 

Sunday, July 26, (9 a.m.):  

More than 150 detectives and officers are continuing to search for 21-month-old Lonzie Barton, who has now been missing for over two days.

The suspect, 32-year-old William Ebron, continues to frustrate law enforcement, who brought him to the scene of the search area. He has continued to refuse to say where the child might be.

Law enforcement is coordinating search near Southern Oaks mobile home park, and they continue to search nearby bodies of water. JSO spokesman Tom Hackney provided a morning update at 8:45 p.m. and admitted they know more than what they can share, but they have reasons for every tactical move.

JSO: "One person that has the key hasn’t provided that to us and that is very frustrating.”

https://twitter.com/TenikkaANjax/status/625296451099299841

https://twitter.com/MichaelANjax/status/625293530202775552


Saturday, July 25 (10 p.m.): 

Family confirms that Lonzie’s father is related to Haleigh Cummings' mother. Haleigh went missing from her Putnam County home in February 2009. 

Suspicion fell on her father's future wife, Misty Cummings, but nothing has ever been proved, and Haleigh Cummings' body has never been found.

She is one of only five Amber Alert cases in Florida history that remain unsolved.

 

Saturday, July 25 (7:45 p.m.): 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office held a news conference at 7:30 p.m. and officially named William Ebron, 32, the suspect in the case.

Chief Tom Hackney said police know that Ebron had contact with people overnight and in order to find Lonzie, they need those people to come forward.

Hackney said Ebron needs to be more cooperative with investigators.

“If Mr. Ebron would cooperate a little more, we could have a successful resolution to this,” Hackney said.

Evidence and communication with Ebron is what has led police to name Ebron as the suspect, according to Hackney.

A smaller crew will continue to search through the night, but will continue searching in full force on Sunday. Hackney said people need a resolution to this case.

“The victim’s family in this case deserves answers, and the community deserves answers ... but the one person with the key isn't cooperating,” Hackney said.

 

Saturday, July 25 (5:30 p.m.):  

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and JSO dive teams are searching multiple ponds along Philips Highway in relation to missing 1-year-old Lonzie Barton.

Christian Hancock with JSO said police have received tips to search these specific areas.

JSO has roped off and is searching the area at the end of Avenues Walk Boulevard near Plato’s Closet.

The other area being searched is the pond at the off ramp of I-295 at Philips Highway North.

Police K-9 units have also shown back up at Baker Skinner Park -- where police searched Friday -- in hopes of finding Lonzie.

 

Saturday, July 25 (8:40 a.m.):

JSO's Tom Hackney provided an update at 8:30 a.m. at the #FindLonzie command center, and he centered his update around William Ebron, 32, who was arrested Friday night and charged with two counts of felony child neglect.

Ebron has told police that Lonzie Barton, 21 months, was in a 1995 Honda Civic when it was stolen from outside his apartment, but JSO says Ebron is lying. JSO does not believe that the car was stolen, but they are keeping the Amber Alert in effect.

"[Ebron] has led us to believe will that is lying to us," Hackney said.  "He is somewhat cooperative, going from the point of being remorseful and self-preservation." 

According to an affidavit, Ebron left Lonzie in car to go use cocaine, an act JSO said "turned him into part of a monster." 

Around 50 detectives are working the case on Saturday. JSO reiterated that Ebron is the focus on the investigation.

"We believe the auto theft as he reported it, did not happen," Hackney said. "My hopes and prayers are that we are able to find [Lonzie] alive."

JSO said Lonzie's mother, 25-year-old Lonna Lauramore, was "very cooperative," as is Barton's biological father. 


Friday, July 24:

  • A car with a 1-year-old inside was reported stolen just before 2:30 a.m. Friday.
  • The car was found nearby, but the child was not in the car.
  • The child, Lonzie Barton, was wearing only a diaper.
  • A Florida Amber Alert was issued around 6:15 a.m. #FindLonzie
  • Barton has blonde hair, blue eyes and is 2 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 20 pounds.
  • The last person to see Lonzie was 32-year-old William Ebron Jr., the boyfriend of Lonzie's mother Lonna Lauramore.
  • Both Ebron and Lauramore were questioned by police. Ebron was charged late Friday night with 2 counts of child neglect.
  • Search efforts were scaled back Friday night due to nightfall while forensic teams continued to look inside Ebron's apartment.
  • Anyone with information on Lonzie's whereabouts is asked to call JSO at call JSO at 904-630-0500 or email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org

A Florida Amber Alert has been issued for Lonzie Barton, a 21-month-old boy who was reported missing early Friday morning in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded just before 2:30 a.m. to the Ravenswood Apartments in the 8000 block of Old Kings Road near Philips Highway. The caller said a man’s car was taken with his girlfriend’s son inside, JSO said.

JSO confirmed that the mother of Lonzie is Lonna Lauramore. Her boyfriend is William Ebron Jr., 32. Lauramore works at Wacko's and was at work until 2:30 a.m. early Friday. Both Ebron and Lauramore were questioned by police. Ebron was charged late Friday night with two counts of child neglect, the Duval County Jail confirmed. Ebron is likely to have his first court appearance on Saturday afternoon. He is being held without bond.

Ebron has a lengthy rap sheet — a woman filed a domestic violence case against him earlier this month. In 2011, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery. He’s been arrested multiple times on traffic and drug charges. The Baker County Sheriff's Office on Friday issued an Order of Arrest and Commitment for Ebron for violating his probation. JSO spokesman Tom Hackney said Ebron has been uncooperative.

“If I'm the caregiver of a 21-month-old that had this happen, as he claims it did, I would do everything in my power to be cooperative with law enforcement. Throughout the day that hasn't exactly been the case,” Hackney said.

“Originally, we thought maybe the child was with his father or other family circumstances were involved. But at this time, we have made contact with the father who is in Baker County and we do not believe that he’s involved in any way," said JSO spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda.

JSO had another update at 5 p.m. Friday. They asked everyone living near the area of Old Kings Road to check their property for anywhere a 21-month-old might hide.


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“The child was originally in the vehicle with his mother’s boyfriend," Bujeda said. "We don’t (know) if the person who took the vehicle knew at that time the child was inside the vehicle when the vehicle was stolen."

JSO said Ebron was leaving the apartment with a 5-year-old child and Lonzie to pick up their mother from work. Police say Ebron went back to the apartment to do cocaine before he left and the 5-year-old, who is Barton's sister, went into the apartment and said she was scared. The girl said she was scared of the dark, according to police. 

Ebron then went back outside and saw the car drive off, police said. 

https://twitter.com/RussellANjax/status/624517054478090240

The car was found about 10 minutes later in 8100 block of Cesperdes Avenue. However, Lonzie was not found in the car.

https://twitter.com/JSOPIO/status/624563167272828929

Lonzie was wearing only a diaper at the time. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, is 2 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 20 pounds.


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Lonzie, who will be 2 years old in October, is able to walk and talk. In addition to the abduction investigation, JSO officers and bloodhounds searched the apartment complex and the area where the car was found in case the child wandered off.

JSO said Lonzie was not restrained in a car seat at the time of the car theft. Officers are also asking anyone who saw the vehicle Thursday night or early this morning to call police at 904-630-0500. 

"We're looking for fingerprints (and) we're looking for DNA evidence. Unfortunately, those results take some time," said JSO's Hackney. "Time is not on our side, but we're working through any angle that we can."

JSO, along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Federal Bureau of Investigation, is searching creeks, wooded areas, and other places around the scenes by air and with K9 units. Police are also asking anyone who may have a vacant lot, pools or body of water nearby to check for the missing child. 

https://twitter.com/RussellANjax/status/624547033316257792

Officers have talked with the 5-year-old girl; however, she didn't provide much information at this time as she was hungry and tired. Law Enforcement will try to talk to her again at a later time. 

“And according to FDLE, this is the first Amber Alert that has been issued this year,” Hackney said.

Hackney said he wasn't happy with the process to get information out.

"There are some issues that were brought to my attention that I wasn't satisfied with time and notifying the media with this," Hackney said. "Time is of the essence. Knowledge is power for the public as well and for the media as well. I'll get to the bottom of what actually transpired when it came to making these calls. But the most important thing now is to recover this child and get that information out to the public."

Timeline of Events:

2:22 a.m. Friday – JSO responds to auto theft, abduction call
3:59 a.m. – JSO alerts media of possible child abduction
5:48 a.m. – JSO provides picture of missing child
5:15 a.m. – FDLE was contacted by JSO who requested an AMBER Alert. JSO provided FDLE with a case outline and the facts as they were known at that time. AMBER Alert was approved.
6:20 a.m. – Florida Amber Alert activated
6:24 a.m. – BOLO was issued to law enforcement statewide
7:02 a.m. – Initial media and partner notification was made
7:11 a.m. – EAS activated
7:13 a.m. – Secondary media alert notification
7:23 a.m. – Flyer sent to public information officer for Facebook posting and lottery notification made
7:24 a.m. – Email distribution began to approximately 20,000 who signed up to receive emails
7:25 a.m. – Bloodhounds spotted looking in the area 
8:53 a.m. – Photo of the abandoned Honda Civic released
11:58 a.m. – JSO updates the situation and pledges every available resource to finding Lonzie Barton
2:30 p.m. – JSO was scene of laundromat on Powers Drive. They rope off the area.
5 p.m. – JSO provides second update of the day and asks the public for help in searching individual homes, properties
5:05 p.m. – JSO says boyfriend William Ebron has not been charged, but was uncooperative
Friday night – Search efforts were scaled back Friday night due to nightfall while forensic teams continued to look inside Ebron's apartment
11:48 p.m. – William Ebron Jr. charged with two counts of child neglect

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the child is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

https://twitter.com/LorenaANjax/status/624616316415008770


Click here or scroll down to see the story unfolded as on social media as information became available.


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