Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Disappearance of Iyana Sawyer

Iyana Sawyer (16) was five months pregnant when she vanished on December 19th, 2018. She was last seen at her high school in Jacksonville, Florida. Surveillance cameras captured her leaving the school carrying two large bags around lunchtime that day. Iyana never returned home that afternoon and has never been seen or heard from again. 

Surveillance image of Iyana leaving Terry Parker High School on the day of her disappearance.

Once Iyana was reported missing, investigators quickly identified her uncle, 33 year-old Johnathan Quiles (pictured below) as a person of interest. Johnathan was arrested on January 9th, 2019, for suspected sexually battery against his underage babysitter. While behind bars, he reportedly admitted to a fellow inmate that he may be the father of Iyana’s unborn child.

Iyana and other relatives were living with Johnathan for weeks at a time prior to Iyana’s disappearance. Investigators found even more evidence of an inappropriate relationship between the teen and her uncle on Iyana’s computer. Investigators discovered various writings authored by Iyana that implied a sexual relationship between her and Johnathan. They also found a letter written by Iyana in which she professes her love for Johnathan and expresses that she wants to run away with him so they can be a family. 

Investigators also spoke with Johnathan’s brother, who told them that Johnathan confessed to murdering Iyana. His brother stated that Johnathan told him he choked Iyana to death. He reportedly said, “she wasn't dying right and it was making [Johnathan] sick looking at her.”

Johnathan Quiles

Despite all of this, Johnathan has publicly denied being involved in Iyana’s case and he has still not faced any charges related to her pregnancy or disappearance. However, suspicions against him remain strong, as he is currently behind bars on suspicion of having an inappropriate relationship with another underage girl. Meanwhile, Iyana remains missing and her family members believe she met with foul play at the hands of Johnathan Quiles. 

Florida police are investigating Iyana’s disappearance. If you have any information that could help the investigation, you can anonymously submit a tip by calling 1-866-845-8477.

Johnathan Quiles has been indicted on murder charges in the death of Iyana Sawyer and her unborn child. The indictment states that Johnathan shot Iyana to death on either December 19th or December 20th of 2018. Although Iyana's body has still not been found, the state was able to gather enough evidence for Johnathan to be indicted by a grand jury. He remains behind bars for multiple charges at this time as his cases are pending.

Johnathan is due to go to trial for murder in late 2022. 

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