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A convicted sex offender from Alabama has been arrested and charged with the murder of 12-year-old Naomi Jones. Last Monday her body was found in a Florida creek, five days after she went missing.

According to PEOPLEduring a press conference on Thursday, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan announced that Robert Letroy Howard, 38, was their prime suspect. Morgan said that Howard’s girlfriend lived in the same apartment complex as Jones’ family.

“We’ve found our monster,” Morgan exclaimed.

CBS News reported that detectives first came into contact with Howard when they were canvassed the neighborhood after Jones was reported missing. A red flag went off when they realized that Howard gave them “false information” when he said that he was in Alabama when she disappeared. In addition, surveillance video captured Howard by the creek where Naomi’s body was found. 

Howard is charged with first degree premeditated murder, kidnapping and failure to register as a sex offender in Florida, WEAR-TV reported.

PEOPLE noted that according to past documents, Morgan had been convicted of raping two adult women and served 15 years in prison back in 1999.

In an interview with WRKG, Howard’s sister said that the sheriff’s characterization of her brother was unfair

I want people to know he is not a monster,” Walker said.

Our thoughts are with the Jones’ family.

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