By Associated Press - Wednesday, April 28, 2021

BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) - A juvenile is in custody in the 2020 shooting death of a Mississippi man reported missing and found inside an abandoned home in Alabama.

Bessemer Police Chief Mike Roper told news outlets Tuesday that the young suspect was arrested in Bessemer on a charge of felony murder in the death of Michael Jones, 45, of Columbus, Mississippi.

Roper did not release the name or age of the suspect. It was unknown if the suspect has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Jones vanished May 20, 2020, after leaving work at Steel Dynamics/Severstal in Columbus. His Ford Ranger 4x4 pickup truck was found May 22 and a further search led investigators to Jones‘ body in the vacant home.

Family said he was supposed to return to work at 6 p.m. Wednesday but did not show up or call. His large, close-knit family immediately began to search for him. They were able to track his phone to Tuscaloosa, and then Bessemer. They learned he had arranged via the Letgo trading app to meet someone to buy an iPhone 11 and believe he was lured to his death.

Jones‘ survivors included his wife, a 21-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son.

Roper said the investigation is ongoing and he could not release any further details. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Bessemer police at 205-425-2411 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

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