LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) — It was between the time Darnell Frink was killed and the time that Delamez Jones went missing that Jones and his parents spoke to police about the shooting at the Lake Waccamaw gas station, because Delamez Jones was a witness.
Jones's family says law enforcement officers didn't do enough to the protect him. Delamez Jones's family says they requested protection from officers for the 14-year-old and were denied.
Investigators say Jones's cousin, Santonio Jenrette, and 16-year-old Marquell Hunter kidnapped and killed Jones so he wouldn't talk to law enforcement officers about the murder he witnessed in late September. About a week after the murder Jones' family says detectives got a statement from the teen about what he saw and then told the family protecting him wouldn't be necessary.
"The only thing he told me was this kind of thing only happens in the movies," Jones's aunt Melanie Canty said. "You never expect anything like that to happen around here."
Mabalene Moody, Jones's mother, said, "They knew that if they questioned him, he was going to be in danger."
Lake Waccamaw Police Department Chief Scott Hyatt said, "It's not something that we anticipated or thought would ever have happened."
Family members say Jones was warned he might get hurt if he talked to cops. Chief Hyatt says he was not aware of those threats. Hyatt also says when the teen was first reported missing November 19 no law enforcement officer involved in the case felt Jones was in any danger, because Jones's friends told them he had talked about running away.
Marquell Hunter and Santonio Jenrette are accused in the death of Darnell Frink and Delamez Jones.
-On September 21 Frink was killed in a shooting at a Lake Waccamaw gas station. The next day Connail Reeves was stopped by police, for driving a stolen car — the car used in the shooting. Jenrette was with Reeves and took off. Reeves was arrested and later charged in the death of Drink.
-Jump ahead to November 19: 14-year-old Rashed Delamez Jones disappears. His bike was found on the side of the road. His body was found off Barney Tyler Road on December 5.
-Thursday saw a big break in both murders. Hunter was charged with Jones's murder. He had previously been implicated in the Frink murder. Jenrette was charged with both Frink's and Jones's murders.