Police say they think they’ve found the person responsible for killing a Clayton man and leaving his body in a field in Wake County 17 years ago.
Jonathan Lynn Jenkins, 43, of Smithfield has been charged with first-degree murder. Police think he killed Elton Demond Whitfield, whose body was found near Lake Myra about a month after he went missing from his home in Clayton in March 1999.
Johnston County sheriff’s investigators had arrested Jenkins earlier this week on charges stemming from an investigation into an illegal prostitution ring that involved trafficking women, including at least one juvenile, in Johnston and Wake counties. County investigators charged Jenkins on Tuesday with human trafficking with a child victim and gun possession by a felon.
He was in the county detention center when Clayton detectives went to question him about new information they had received in the homicide case last summer, town spokeswoman Stacy Beard said. Beard did not disclose the new information or say what circumstances led to Whitfield’s death.
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Jenkins had served 8 years in prison after Clayton police charged him with killing Richard Vestal in 2006 and he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He got out of prison on Jan. 2, 2014, state records show.