Clayton police have charged a Smithfield man in a nearly 17-year-old murder.
On Friday, policed charged Jonathan Lynn Jenkins, 43, in the death of Elton Demond Whitfield. His body was found in a Wake County field a month after he went missing from his Clayton in March 1999. Whitfield and Jenkins knew each other.
This past summer, developments led Clayton police to reopen Whitfield’s case, the town said in a news release Friday. Then on Jan. 19, Johnston County sheriff’s deputies arrested Jenkins and another man in an prostitution ring that involved trafficking women, including at least one juvenile, in Johnston and Wake counties.
Clayton detectives interviewed Jenkins in custody and later charged him in Whitfield’s death.
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This is the second time Clayton police have charged Jenkins with murder. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to killing Joseph Richard Vestal in Clayton Estates Mobile Home Park. He served nearly eight years in prison before his release in January 2014.
Jenkins is in the Johnston County jail without bond, charged with first-degree murder.