Authorities say the 12-year-old Florida girl who went missing on May 31 was found dead on June 5.
After two fishermen, who were off-duty police officers, found Naomi Jones' body about five miles away from her home, police immediately began a homicide investigation, reports WLTV.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says since then, persons of interest have been identified.
"We have reason to believe through all the activities that have occurred over the last five days that we now have sufficient information to pursue some individuals who are persons of interest, who may be involved not only in the disappearance of Naomi, but quite possibly may be involved with her homicide," Morgan said.
However, Morgan did not reveal whether or not the alleged suspects were in custody or what their motivations may have been.
"I don't care why, you killed one of my citizens, that’s all I care about," Morgan said when asked about motives. "I will leave the why to the psychologists and the scriptwriters.
Local authorities are now working with the FBI to investigate Naomi's death further.
"We want to solve this crime and bring to justice the person who took Naomi’s life," Morgan said.
Authorities conducted hundreds of interviews, followed up on more than 200 tips, and offered a $20,000 reward to help find the girl when she initially went missing.
"We're not giving up, we're never going to give up until you come home," said heartbroken cousin Phyllis King at the time, reports WALA. "We're looking for you baby and we're not going to give up I promise you!"
King continued, describing young Naomi as a strong girl who meant everything to her family.
“There was nothing she couldn’t tackle," said King. "She’s a beautiful person inside as well as outside. She's trusting, just a beautiful little girl that our family has a hole in our hearts that, until she returns, we’ll never fill it."
Many on social media were heartbroken over the girl's death, yet praised law enforcement for their efforts.
"So sad," wrote one person on WLTV's Facebook post about Naomi's death. "I'm hoping that our world will become a better place, but its only getting worse! I am afraid to let my grandkids go outside to play without me with them."
"Such a sad outcome," added another. "Father God in the precious name of Jesus please strengthen the family and friends of this twelve year old and bless all Law Enforcement officials, Agencies, and volunteers from around the country who reached out to help with the search and rescue. Thank God for great people with much concern. "