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How investigators solved a missing-person-homicide investigation in 5 days

Diana Dove Crime Scene

Vero Beach Police Department

Diana Dove’s body was discovered in June 2014 in the trunk of her car parked at a Florida Publix shopping center. In just three days, investigators were able to put the pieces together to find him and his killer

missing girl

Diana Dove

Facebook/Diana Dove

Diana Dove was a 26-year-old nurse living in Vero Beach, Florida. On Thursday, June 19, 2014, she was out with some friends but left them to meet her again, again boyfriend Mike Jones.

ex lover

Mike Jones

Patrick Dove/USA TODAY Network

Mike Jones was 32 years old and worked in wealth management at PNC Bank. She met Dove in 2013 at a bar in Vero Beach.

tight family

Lena Andrews and Diana Dove

Facebook/Lena Andrews

Lena Andrews, Dove’s mother, said her daughter went missing after Diana failed to return home. Andrews said he talked to Diana every day. “I was trying to tell everyone who would listen … if he doesn’t call me, it’s because he can’t,” she said.

last seen

What a Tavern bar

CBS News

On Friday, June 20, 2014, Duve was last seen leaving the bar, What A Tavern, this time around 1:30 a.m. with Mike Jones. Duv texted his mother at 1:45 a.m. and told her he wouldn’t be home. That was the last time anyone from him.

Looking for Diana

Sergeant Brad Kemetz, Lt. Matt Harrelson

CBS News

Sergeant Brad Kemetz and Lt. Matt Harrelson of the Vero Beach Police Department were assigned to work the case. They made a promise to Lena Andrews that they would find her daughter one way or another

The camera was captured

Surveillance video of Mike Jones

Florida State Attorney’s Office, 19th Circuit

Investigators learned that about 12 hours after Diana and Mike Jones were last seen at the bar, Jones was caught on surveillance camera withdrawing $2,500 in cash at the PNC Bank. Jones told a colleague he was feeling sick and was leaving for a few days.

Criminal past

Mike Jones on the court

Patrick Dove/USA TODAY Network

Investigators also learned that Mike Jones has a criminal record. In 2012, he was charged with aggravated stalking for threatening to kill an ex-girlfriend near Fort Lauderdale. Jones was placed on probation and must remain in the Vero Beach area.

According to Dove’s friends and family, no one knew about Jones’ criminal past.

investigative work

Investigators with cell tower pings map

CBS News

Investigators analyzed cellphone tower pings from Dove and Jones’ phones. Jones’ phone had a ping from a cell tower located about 25 minutes from Vero Beach in the Fort Pierce area. Local authorities were asked to be on the lookout for Dove and Mike Jones’ vehicle.

strange behavior

Mike Jones Hotel Check In

Florida State Attorney’s Office, 19th Circuit

Investigators were alerted that Mike Jones’ vehicle was located in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn. This surveillance footage shows Jones checking into the hotel about 24 hours after Dove disappeared. He paid in cash and instructed the hotel staff not to tell anyone he was there.

caught

Mike Jones' arrest photo

St. Lucie County Jail

When investigators arrived at the Hampton Inn, they found Jones sitting in his room talking on a burner phone — a phone that was difficult for police to trace. Jones didn’t give any information about Dove’s whereabouts, but since he violated probation for that hot stalking incident from 2012, he was arrested and jailed.

Burner phone

Mike Jones in Walmart surveillance video

Florida State Attorney’s Office, 19th Circuit

Investigators traced Burner’s phone purchase to a Walmart in the Melbourne, Florida area. In this surveillance footage taken from Walmart the day after Dove went missing, Mike Jones is seen walking into the store to buy a burner phone. Surveillance footage showed what appeared to be Dove’s car in the parking lot, but no sign of Diana.

The search ends

Diana Dove

Facebook/Diana Dove

Investigators reanalyzed Jones’ cellphone pings and discovered that Jones had picked up a call in the Melbourne area. Local authorities were alerted and Dove’s car was parked in a Publix parking lot. His body was in the trunk.

facing charges of murder

Mike Jones with the police

Florida State Attorney’s Office, 19th Circuit

Mike Jones was charged with first degree murder two days after Diana’s body was found. He pleaded not guilty.

crime scene

Crime scene photos

Florida State Attorney’s Office, 19th Circuit

Mike Jones went on trial in October 2019. Prosecutors told the jury that she was emotionally and physically abusive throughout their relationship. They believed Jones had beaten and strangled Diana in her apartment.

Collected evidence

duve-16.jpg

Florida State Attorney’s Office, 19th Circuit

Police found a small drop of blood near the threshold of Jones’ garage door. The blood was of a dove. Prosecutors believed this evidence showed Jones placed Diana’s body in the trunk of his car while it was parked in his garage.

life sentence

duve-17.jpg

Florida Department of Corrections

Mike Jones was convicted of first-degree murder. Prosecutors went for the death penalty, which required a unanimous jury decision, but the jury’s decision was split 11-1. In November 2019, Jones was sentenced to life in prison.

Diana’s influence

Diana Dove

Florida State Attorney’s Office, 19th Circuit

Dove’s mother Lena Andrews wants people to remember and learn Diana’s story. “If you think something isn’t right, listen to yourself, because something isn’t right,” he said.

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