One year later homicide suspected in missing St. Pete teen case - WFLA News Channel 8

One year later homicide suspected in missing St. Pete teen case

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HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

17-year-old Morgan Martin vanished into the night exactly one year ago Thursday.

Her mother says she planned to step outside their St. Petersburg home to meet with the father of her unborn child the night she disappeared. She was four months pregnant and wearing sleep clothes.

"She said he was coming over," said Morgan Martin's mother Leah. "She just wanted to tell him she was having a baby girl and I told her just leave him alone."

Martin's family and friends spent Thursday handing out leaflets in St. Petersburg in an effort to raise awareness and stir up new leads for police.

"I know that somebody knows something," said Martin

There is also a $1000 reward in the case.

Police are now treating Martin's disappearance as a homicide even though they have not found her body or any evidence of foul play.

"About three or four months ago we thought it was a good segue to transfer it up to the homicide division," said Major Michael Kovacsev who oversees crimes against persons detectives at the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Kovacsev said the circumstances and facts of the case—most of which he will not discuss publicly—lead detectives to believe Morgan is a murder victim.

"We're going to continue to look at the different leads and different aspects," said Kovacsev.

Kovacsev said his detectives have spoken on several occasions to Jacobee Flowers, the 25-year-old man that Martin's mother says her daughter planned to meet outside of her home on 17th Ave. S. the night she vanished.

"He's been cooperative though the investigation," said Kovacsev. "At this point we don't have anything to prove or disprove anything he's said."

Flowers had a history of arrests for crimes ranging from home invasion to theft and serious traffic offenses prior to Martin's disappearance.

Four months after Martin vanished, the FHP arrested Flowers for fleeing and eluding and reckless driving following a late night high speed chase on U.S. Highway 19.

That night, Flowers reached speeds of 149 miles per hour in his attempt to avoid arrest. Flowers later told state troopers he tried to avoid their traffic stop because he was scared of going to jail.

Flowers initially lied to FHP investigators. He said his car was stolen the night of the chase and insisted he was not behind the wheel. Flowers later confessed and pleaded guilty in exchange for three years probation and two years revocation of his driver license.

During a brief interview in May with News Channel Eight outside of the Pinellas Justice Center Flowers refused to discuss the high speed chase and didn't want to talk about Martin.

To each and every question Flowers' answer was exactly the same: "No comments, man."

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