ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) – It was the news no parent is ever prepared to hear. Not even Leah Martin, even though her heart had been aching for four long years. In her mind, the mother of 17-year-old Morgan Martin hoped for the best. But, as she closed her eyes, the logical side of her soul remained dominant. She knew the worst case scenario was a strong probability, even in the face of prayer and hope.
Her precious daughter had gone missing back in 2012. Morgan vanished without a trace. She was there one minute and gone the next. The beautiful teenager with the bright smile and flawless complexion told her mother and others that there was someone she needed to talk to that day. Morgan was four months pregnant, and she wanted to have a conversation with her boyfriend, the baby’s father. Jacobee Flowers was the last person to see Morgan alive, St. Petersburg Police said. He was the person she stepped outside to talk to in those final moments of her life. According to investigators, he was also the same person to murder her, dispose of her body and then spend years denying his involvement.
On Monday afternoon, cold case detectives from the St. Petersburg Police Department broke the news that they were both relieved to have, yet heartbroken to share. A grand jury returned an indictment charging Morgan’s boyfriend Jacobee Flowers with first-degree murder. He had planned everything, investigators said, and knew that Morgan was pregnant.
Now, the daunting question – where is Morgan’s body? Police Chief Anthony Holloway says finding her is now his top priority in this developing case. He wants to locate the teenager’s remains. The chief told WFLA, “We want to bring Morgan home and the baby home so the parents can put her to rest.”
As for Morgan’s mother, she bravely spoke with the media Monday at a news conference when the cold case arrest was announced. She tearfully thanked investigators for never giving up on her daughter.
“I just want to thank everyone here for not forgetting about my Morgan. And for waking up every day with us and helping us,” she said crying.
Those in the room could feel her pain and see the anguish on her face. Yet, this mother resolved to be strong and share stories about her beloved daughter.
“She was definitely a mama’s girl. She never would hang up without saying she loved me. And if you hung up and didn’t tell her, she’d call back until you’d answer,” Leah said. “She was one of those kids who, she was gonna stay all night with somebody, but then she’d call you to come get her because she didn’t want to be away from home.”
Morgan’s story made international headlines when it happened on July 25, 2012. Leah Martin is filled with gratitude that so many people worked diligently to bring justice to this case.
“Detectives came to the house and they never quit coming, they never quit calling, and all these wonderful people to help my Morgan, and they didn’t even know her,” she said, tears streaming down her face. “They didn’t forget her.”
Jacobee is already behind bars at the Florida Department of Corrections located in Avon Park. He is facing felony traffic charges on an unrelated case. He is scheduled to face a judge in St. Petersburg in mid-July.