Local News

Henderson woman, 40, charged in NJ cold case death from when she was 13

Posted December 21, 2018 10:03 a.m. EST
Updated December 21, 2018 5:42 p.m. EST

— A woman now living in Vance County has been charged in the fatal shooting 26 years ago of a 12-year-old New Jersey girl, prosecutors say.

Monmouth County, New Jersey, investigators announced Thursday that a suspect is in custody in the Vance County Jail and is awaiting extradition back to New Jersey.

Because the suspect was herself a minor when the crime took place, investigators in New Jersey did not release her name.

However, The Asbury Park Press identified the suspect as Kishia Jones. WRAL News confirmed that a Henderson woman by that name is being held in the Vance jail on an extradition warrant to New Jersey.

Vance County authorities declined to reveal what charges Jones faces, but Monmouth County prosecutors said in a written statement that they charged a woman with aggravated manslaughter for the death of Quiana Dees, who was 12 years old when she was found dead of a gun shot to the head in 1992.

The Asbury Park Press reported that Jones had long been a suspect in the girl's slaying based on an interview she did in 2008 with police in New Jersey. According to the report, Jones told police she broke into a home and stole a gun with two other girls before Dees was shot.

According to prosecutors, Dees, who was in the seventh grade at the time, snuck out of her Asbury Park apartment to attend a house party. She was found in unconscious and in a vacant wooded lot in Neptune Township on May 2, 1992. She died the next day.

Prosecutors have not revealed a motive for the killing or publicly disclosed how or if the victim knew Jones.

Jones' Henderson neighbors said New Jersey investigators paid multiple visits to her home over the past year, but her arrest still came as a shock.

"I was just shocked to know we had someone living around us that would do something like that," said Stephanie Williams.

Prosecutors said since the suspect was 13 years old at the time of the 1992 killing, the charge has been issued as a juvenile delinquency complaint. She faces a maximum term of incarceration of 4 years, prosecutors said.

Penny Dees, the mother of the girl who was killed in 1992, said she was glad that she finally has closure.

"No matter what you go through just keep the faith and hold on," Penny Dees wrote on Facebook. "Don't give up."

She had a message, too, for the person who killed her daughter.

“I would tell her, 'I forgive you,' and I would like to know why – why did you do this? And what was the reason you would want to take my daughter’s life,” she said.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call Detective John Leibfried of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800-533-7443 or Detective Eric Chunn of the Neptune Township Police Department at 732-988-8000.