On Sunday evening, Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen gave an update on the death investigation of Farmington teenager Mikayla Jones.
He said Jones, 18, died of a suspected accidental drug overdose and her body was left on Highway M between Caledonia and Irondale.
"It was a body that was unidentified and believed to be Mikayla, but it wasn’t until the autopsy and the dental records that we had proof it was Mikayla," he said. "Obviously, the family’s been notified."
Jacobsen said that Andrew Franklin Pierce and Ethan Civey have been charged with tampering with physical evidence, abandonment of a corpse, and hindering prosecution.
Civey was taken into custody on Saturday, and Jacobsen said he believed he had already bonded out.
Pierce had not been taken into custody as of 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, he said, but there is a warrant out for his arrest.
"If there are more people involved, we’re going to seek them to the end of the earth, figure out who they are, and we’re going to charge them, too," Jacobsen added.
Jacobsen said he believes Jones' death was avoidable if they would have just called 911.
"I feel personally this situation could have been handled a whole lot differently, if what we believe is true, and it was an accidental overdose, and she was deceased," he said. "They could have just called 911. They didn’t, the cowards.
"There’s a law that protects these people that allows them to (call for help). If there’d been 10 pounds of fentanyl in there, if they’d called 911 and said she overdosed, there’s nothing we can do. The Good Samaritan Law in Missouri allows this to happen."
Legislation was put in place for opiate users—for abusers of fentanyl, heroin, pain medicine—protecting those who call 911 in case someone overdosed in their presence, and preventing their subsequent arrest because they helped in the preservation of life.
Jacobsen said the investigation is ongoing.
Jones was reported missing on May 7 and was reportedly last seen late May 4 or early the morning of May 5. Sources say she was last seen at a residence in the area of Belgrade. Her cell phone had reportedly been off since Tuesday, and authorities were able to ping the phone, confirming the device was last turned on in Belgrade.
On Friday, in a statement, her mother, Stacie Jones, said, "Our lives have changed forever. As a parent there is no way to prepare for the unbearable feeling that comes with a tragedy like this.
"But, comfort can be found knowing that I will see my daughter again. I’m humbly appreciative of the unity the community has shown to group together and work cohesively as a large extended family with one goal in mind, to find Mikayla. A sincere thank you to the Washington County Sheriff’s department for their tireless efforts, and to the outpouring of love, support and prayers from friends and strangers alike.