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Author Topic: Neica Marie Gibbs, 14, Death leaves family in anguish Fort Lauderdale, FL  (Read 10673 times)
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« on: July 24, 2008, 07:08:41 AM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/457/story/615888.html

FORT LAUDERDALE
Girl's death leaves a family in anguish
A body found near a garbage bin in Fort Lauderdale has been identified as that of a missing 14-year-old girl.

Posted on Wed, Jul. 23, 2008
BY JENNIFER MOONEY PIEDRA, DIANA MOSKOVITZ AND ELY PORTILLO
jmooney@MiamiHerald.com

COURTESY OF FORT LAUDERDALE POLICE
Neica Gibbs, 13, was found dead near a Dumpster in Fort Lauderdale.

Video | Neighbor won't rest until girl's killer is caught
Three weeks ago, 14-year-old Neica Marie Gibbs left home for a sleepover, and she never came back.

Tuesday night, Fort Lauderdale police found Neica's decomposed body, wrapped in a tarp behind a garbage bin -- steps away from the friend's trailer where she was supposed to spend the night.

Police are perplexed as to how she died. ''We need to determine if this is an actual homicide,'' said Sgt. Frank Sousa, a Fort Lauderdale police spokesman. ``It's still early in our investigation.''

Neica had finished eighth grade at Sunrise Middle and was excited to start at Fort Lauderdale High next month, said grandmother Barbara Queer, who raised Neica from infancy.

Neica stayed out of trouble, Queer said Wednesday. ``She has never been a person to wander off. She was a good kid.''

The day she disappeared a few weeks ago, Neica had plans to spend the night at the trailer home of her friend Sherry Pendergrass, 15.

The two girls were close. Neica referred to Sherry's mother, Linda Pendergrass, as her aunt. Neighbors in the trailer park, in the 2700 block of Southwest Sixth Drive, say Neica visited often.

Jason Hartley, 15, and Joe Rodriguez, 11, who live in the trailer park, were the last people to report seeing her alive. They knew Neica and said she left at about 6 p.m., saying she was going to borrow $50 from a friend and walk to Diamond Girl Beauty Supply to get her hair done.

They never saw her again.

The young girl's grandmother heard from Sherry the next morning.

''She called me and asked if Neica was here,'' Queer said. ``She wasn't.''

For the next three weeks, Queer would speak daily with detectives, all the while hoping her granddaughter would walk through the door.

BLUE TARP

Police kept up the search. ''We had no reason to believe that she was in danger or that foul play was suspected, based on our conversations with the family,'' Sousa said.

Then, just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, they heard from Lorraine Boggess, a resident of the trailer park. She had been clearing garbage around the community's Dumpster when she noticed something wrapped in a blue tarp.

When she opened the tarp, she discovered a human skull and bones. She summoned her friend, Linda Pendergrass, to look at the remains.

Pendergrass says she began to pray, hoping it wasn't Neica.

THE WORST NEWS

Her fears were confirmed Wednesday, the next day. Pendergrass immediately left her job as a housekeeper at the Sheraton Yankee Clipper Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

She rode her bicycle to the trailer park, where she collapsed into the arms of a friend, and screamed, ``It don't make no sense. Why would someone do that? It's murder.''

An autopsy will be conducted.

Friends and family Wednesday streamed in and out of the apartment where Neica lived with her grandmother, 12-year-old brother William, and an aunt.

Many visitors cried, asking the same questions: How did this happen? And why to Neica?

Inside the room where Neica slept every night with her grandmother were a small television and a few stuffed animals along the side of the bed.

To Queer, 62, Neica was another daughter.

She had raised her since age 1, when Neica's mother left. Her father, Queer's son, was not involved in Neica's life, the grandmother said.

The family lived in Plantation, then moved into the Fort Lauderdale apartment four years ago.

Neighbors say Queer was a doting grandmother who was very protective of Neica and her brother.

She often met Neica at the bus stop so she wouldn't have to walk home alone and rarely let her sleep out.

Her death came as a shock to Toni Cummings, 49, who lives in the same building as Queer. ''She was a child with great potential,'' Cummings said.

SWEET, CHARMING

Queer described Neica as a sweet and charming young girl who liked going to the library, staying at home and ``talking on the phone, like girls do.''

''No drugs, no alcohol, no nothing,'' she said.

``I don't know what happened, but it was something terrible. Somebody out there knows something.''

Anyone with information is asked to call Fort Lauderdale police at 954-828-5700 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

Miami Herald staff writers Nirvi Shah and Ani Martinez contributed to this report.

 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 10:34:38 AM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2008, 07:49:28 PM »

Victim ridiculed my son, mom of accused killer says  Rolling Eyes
6-25-08

The 15-year-old boy accused of killing a Fort Lauderdale teenager and dumping her body behind a garbage bin attacked the girl because she taunted him for being a virgin minutes after they had sex with each other, the boy's mother told The Miami Herald on Friday.

''It was his first time and she made fun of him,'' Lorraine Boggess said.

Speaking at the Broward County courthouse, Boggess said her son, Jason Hartley, had felt threatened because Neica Gibbs, 14, became enraged when he refused to pay her $50 -- the amount he agreed to give her in exchange for sex.

Neica, said Boggess, told her son she would call her boyfriend to beat him up if he refused to pay the money.

The new details of what may have transpired the night of June 28 emerged following Jason's brief detention hearing before Judge Michael Orlando Friday afternoon.

Jason, who is facing charges of killing Neica, will remain at the Juvenile Detention Center. His next court date was set for Aug. 20.

Prosecutors will decide within 30 days whether to try Jason as an adult, officials said Friday.

Neica, 14, had been missing for three weeks when her body was found near a garbage bin Tuesday.

Jason, who was interviewed by The Miami Herald prior to his arrest, told the newspaper that Neica had left the Fort Lauderdale mobile home park they were hanging out at to go get her hair done at a nearby salon.

In the weeks following her disappearance, neighbors told The Miami Herald that Hartley seemed upset about her disappearance and even helped pass out missing person fliers.

Police say Jason, who lives in the mobile home park with his mother, had a crush on Neica and killed her after the two had sex and got into an argument in his mother's home. Police say the two got into a ``verbal and physical fight that led to her death.''

His mother said the two began fighting, and Neica fell onto a treadmill and was strangled by its straps.

Jason then wrapped her body in a tarp, loaded it onto a dolly and dumped it behind a trash bin, where it was found Tuesday by his mother, she said.

Boggess, who works at a Subway sandwich shop, was visibly distraught after learning the body she found was that of Neica, who regularly visited the mobile home park to see her friend, Sherry Pendergrass, and Sherry's mother, Linda Pendergrass.

Boggess and her two sons -- Jason and a 7-year-old -- are neighbors of the Pendergrass family.

On Friday morning, Boggess said she is ''dealing with'' her son's arrest.

''When you do wrong, you've gotta pay a price for it,'' she said, standing outside of her mobile home.

''We've been working this case from the first day she was reported missing,'' said Sgt. Frank Sousa, a police spokesman. ``We followed up on every lead. The minute this turned into a death investigation, we had several additional leads. It was one of those tips that led to this arrest.''

The day Neica was killed, she had planned to sleep over at the Pendergrass home. Neica and Sherry had been friends since the third grade, Linda Pendergrass said.

That night when Linda got home, Sherry was asleep, and Neica was not there. Linda began searching and ran into the accused killer, who told her, ``She went down the street, Miss Linda.''

''I was so upset because she was to go to my house, I was responsible for her,'' Linda Pendergrass said Thursday.

Linda Pendergrass and her entire family were reeling Thursday night after learning the killing suspect was a teen who lived in their neighborhood.

Jason would help her clean up the garbage bin near their trailers to keep it from smelling. He had cleaned it with Neica just the week before her death, Pendergrass said.

Coincidentally, it was the boy's mother who was clearing garbage from the garbage bin Tuesday night when she noticed something wrapped in a blue tarp. When she opened it, she discovered a human skull and bones.

On Wednesday, Jason spoke with a Miami Herald reporter and said he and a friend were the last to see the girl.

He said she was a nice girl and they liked to go swimming at the pool together.

Friends say he ''worshipped her'' and wanted to be her boyfriend.

''He had a huge crush on her,'' Pendergrass said, describing Jason as a typical boy, who was generally well-behaved.

Police believe he acted alone.

Jason had told The Herald he wanted to join the Army when he got older.

Neica's family reported her missing three weeks ago, and her grandmother, Barbara Queer, had been checking in daily with the police.

''I'm very glad,'' Queer said of the arrest. Queer had raised the girl since age 1, when Neica's mother left. Her father, Queer's son, was not involved in Neica's life.

Neica had finished eighth grade at Sunrise Middle and would have started at Fort Lauderdale High School next month.

''This has got to be comforting for the family,'' Sousa said.

A giant toy rabbit, a cluster of stuffed animals and small candles in jars marked the site where Neica's body was discovered.

A piece of white cardboard bore the message ''Rest in peace'' and the missing persons flier for Neica remained up.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/broward/story/617676.html
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2008, 10:32:52 AM »

Teen admitted hiding girl's body but says her death was accident: But he said teen died accidentally when she attacked him after sex

Released : Saturday, October 18, 2008 4:00 AM

First, he lied about everything.

Then Jason Hartley told a Fort Lauderdale police detective that he found the body of Neica Marie Gibbs, 14, near the trailer where he lives.

Later, in a videotaped statement shown by his attorney Friday, Hartley, 15, tearfully admitted Gibbs was with him when she died. But he said her death was an accident.

Hartley, 15, is being charged as an adult with second-degree murder in the June 28 death of Gibbs and could face life in prison if convicted.

In his 90-minute interview with Detective John Curcio, recorded July 24, Hartley initially said he and Gibbs had sex and that she left his trailer.

Then he claimed he found Gibbs dead and hid her body out of fear he would be held responsible for her death.

"Why didn't you just call 911?" Curcio asked.

"I was scared," Hartley responded. After further questioning, Hartley leaned in toward Curcio.

"You're trying to make me say I did kill her," he said.

"I'm trying to get you to tell the truth," Curcio said. "That's all I want from you, man."

Sobbing, gulping for air and sometimes struggling to get his words out, Hartley finally said he agreed to pay Gibbs for the sexual encounter, but that she got angry because he didn't have any money on him. She threatened him, Hartley said, and then got violent, attacking him with a piece of a broken vacuum cleaner in Hartley's bedroom.

Hartley said he fought back, and that in the struggle, a strap hanging on a treadmill ended up wrapped around the girl's neck.

Before Hartley could make sense of what was happening, he said, the girl stopped moving.

"She fell to the ground," he said, crying almost uncontrollably. "I checked her arm. She wasn't breathing."

Afraid no one would believe it was an accident, Hartley said he put Gibbs' body in a tarp and lugged it outside on a dolly to a trash bin.

No one saw him, he said, contradicting an 11-year-old friend who, in a sworn deposition, told the same detective he saw Hartley and touched the body through the tarp, not knowing what was underneath.

Hartley's lawyer, George Reres, said Hartley never intended to kill Gibbs.

"He had a long-term crush on the girl," Reres said.

In the video, Hartley tells the detective his sexual encounter with Gibbs was his first with anyone.

Gibbs was missing for three weeks before her body was found. Hartley was arrested soon afterward.

"The totality of the evidence proves this was not an accident," Assistant State Attorney Maria Schneider wrote in e-mail to the Sun Sentinel. "I believe that an impartial jury will see this quite clearly."

http://www.macroworldinvestor.com/m/...y&id=326144531
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 08:42:40 AM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2008, 08:47:26 AM »

Boy's account is key in murder case against teen

A sworn statement from a witness suggests that 15-year-old murder suspect Jason Hartley threw his alleged victim near a trash bin the same day she went missing.

In the moments after he allegedly killed 14-year-old Neica Gibbs, Jason Hartley emerged from his Fort Lauderdale mobile home carrying something heavy atop a red dolly. The object was wrapped in blue tarp.

Hartley, 15, then approached an 11-year-old boy and told him to touch the ''fake skeleton'' underneath. Minutes later, the boy saw Hartley unload the dolly at a nearby trash bin.

The boy related his story in a sworn statement to a detective, who said the object Hartley dropped at the trash bin was Neica's body, according to newly released court documents in one of Fort Lauderdale's most gruesome murder investigations.

Neica was reported missing on June 29 after she went on a shopping trip with one of her best friends to buy clothes for a modeling audition. For weeks, friends and family fanned out across the neighborhood to search for clues and to keep people on the lookout.

On the night of July 22, police found Neica's decomposing body amid the filth of a trash bin at the Azalea Trailer Colony, where Hartley lived.

Two days later, Hartley, a husky 15-year-old who had a crush on Neica, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Police say Hartley confessed to the crime, saying he he had promised her money and drugs that day in exchange for sex. Neica discovered Hartley was a virgin and mocked him. They got into a confrontation, police say, that ended in Neica's death.

Hartley remains jailed awaiting trial. He will be tried as an adult.

The latest court documents paint a clearer picture of what transpired in the moments before Neica's body was dumped behind the trash bin. The boy, whose name is not being published by The Miami Herald because of his age, appears to be a key witness in the investigation.

The boy was interviewed by Fort Lauderdale homicide Detective John Curcio on Aug. 12. He told Curcio that on the night of June 28, he saw Neica go into the Hartley home. She wore a patterned shirt, light green flip-flops and golden earrings shaped like teddy bears.

Hartley told his 7-year-old brother and the 11-year-old to ''stay outside.'' But the inquisitive youths sneaked under Hartley's bedroom window to eavesdrop. The 11-year-old claimed Neica was talking about being pregnant. There are no indications that she was pregnant.

Then, the 11-year-old told the detectives, he heard a thud.

Minutes later, he saw Hartley pulling the red dolly and the tarp outside the house.

The 11-year-old watched Hartley throw the ''skeleton'' into a trash bin. He said he also saw Hartley throw out a pair of green flip-flops.

Later that evening, Hartley knocked on the front door of Sherry Pendergrass, a teenage friend with whom Neica had gone shopping. He gave Sherry a cellphone, which he said Neica left at his house.

Sometime soon after that -- police aren't sure when -- Hartley gave the 11-year-old boy's sister a gift -- the same golden teddy-bear shaped earrings that Neica had the night she disappeared.

With Neica missing, the girl's grandmother and guardian, Barbara Queer, called Sherry and her mother, Linda Pendergrass, looking for her. No one knew where she was, prompting a call to police.

The first major tip came to the Fort Lauderdale police when someone called to report a foul smell and a decomposing skull in the trailer park's trash bin.

When police arrived, court documents show, they met Hartley's mother, Lorraine Boggess, and Linda Pendergrass.

Both told police they were trying to clean up the area because of the rank smell.

Boggess said she had no idea her son was involved in the death until he confessed. She said Hartley told her that Neica died accidentally, after she fell and got tangled in a treadmill.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/southflorida/story/729607.html

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One who doesn't trust is never deceived...

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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2009, 02:15:05 PM »

Teen accused of strangling girl, leaving body near garbage, will go to trial as adult

FORT LAUDERDALE - A teenage boy accused of strangling a 14-year-old girl and leaving her body to decompose near a garbage bin will stand trial as an adult, prosecutors announced.

Jason Hartley, 15, will be charged with second-degree murder in the death of Neica Marie Gibbs, whose body was found just yards away from his Fort Lauderdale home, said Assistant State Attorney Maria Schneider. Hartley could face life in prison if convicted.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...,1169671.story
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 01:45:26 PM »

Boy Who Killed Girl After Sex Heading to Prison
Virginal teen who agreed to pay for sex admits to strangulation

Updated 1:30 PM EDT, Mon, May 17, 2010


The virgin Fort Lauderdale teen who paid a girl to have sex with him and then killed her when she made fun of him will be spending the next two decades behind bars.

Jason Hartley, 17, struck a deal with prosecutors Monday that will put him in jail for 20 years, with five years of probation after that.

Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and sporting thin patches of facial hair on his still boyish-looking face, Hartley said little as the sentence was handed down in a Broward Circuit courtroom.

Hartley was 15 when he agreed to pay 14-year-old Neica Marie Gibbs $50 to have sex with him in his family's Fort Lauderdale trailer home on June 28, 2008, according to police.

But after performing the act, Hartley didn't pay up, Gibbs reportedly began to make fun of Hartley for being a virgin, and an altercation ensued.

By the end of the fight, Gibbs was strangled to death, in what Hartley called an accident. Hartley wrapped the body in a tarp and hid it next to a dumpster near the trailer home.

After three weeks and a missing persons report by Gibbs' family, the body was found after the strong odor tipped neighbors off.

Hartley's mother had said the teen had some anger issues.

Hartley had pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge at first, claiming that Gibbs had hit her head on a treadmill in the fight. He admitted his guilt Monday.

"The totality of the evidence proves this was not an accident," prosecutor Maria Schenider said, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Hartley thanked Judge Cynthia Imperato as he was led away in shackles.

Some members of Gibbs' family were in court, where they wore shirts with photos of the slain girl.

"I'm very glad it's over and I think he should have got more time than 20 years because he destroyed my family," said aunt Regina Gibbs after the hearing. "That was my niece, she was a good kid, great grades, went to school everyday, never bothered anybody, so I'm just really hurt right now but I'm glad it's over.

"His family can still see him, I can never see my niece again, never."

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/Boy-Who-Killed-Girl-After-Sex-Heading-to-Prison-93945254.html
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Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware/Of giving your heart to a dog to tear  -- Rudyard Kipling

One who doesn't trust is never deceived...

'I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind' -Edgar Allen Poe
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