A Florida man has been charged with the murder of his teenage girlfriend who disappeared in 2012.
Jacobee Flowers, 28, was charged with the murder of Morgan Martin, who disappeared four years ago at 17 years old. Police in St. Petersburg, Florida, said Flowers was the last one to see Morgan alive before her disappearance, reports WFLA.
Morgan disappeared in 2012, when she was four months pregnant. Before her disappearance, she had told her mother, Leah Martin, that she was going to meet with Flowers, the father of her unborn child, to talk. When she didn't return home the next day, Morgan's family reported her missing.
Flowers faces a charge of first-degree murder, police announced on June 27. He is accused of planning her murder and later disposing of the body.
"The initial investigation was unable to locate Morgan, but detectives focused on Flowers," said St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, according to the Daily Mail. "Flowers denied any knowledge of Morgan's whereabouts and minimized his relationship with Morgan."
"He denied fathering her unborn child," Holloway added. "Investigators sought out any other potential persons who might be connected to Morgan’s disappearance. Everything continued to point toward Flowers as the only person of interest."
After months of searching, Morgan could still not be found, and Holloway said the case became cold. Later, the St. Petersburg Police Department's newly formed Cold Case Unit looked into the murder, interviewing new witnesses and searching for new evidence before charging Flowers with the killing.
Leah was tearful as she gave a statement thanking police for their work on the 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," said Leah, according to WFLA. "They didn’t forget her."
"I just want to thank everyone here for not forgetting about my Morgan," Leah added. "And for waking up every day with us and helping us."
Flowers is already in jail for unrelated felony traffic charges and will be transported in July to Pinellas County Jail.
Police said finding Morgan's body is now their top priority in the case.
"We want to bring Morgan home and the baby home so the parents can put her to rest," Holloway told WFLA.