Family of murder victim speaks out; thanks community and sheriff’s office for support and assistance

Local News

FOUNTAIN, Fla. (WMBB) — Jason Jones is accused of killing two people on Wednesday evening in Fountain.

Jason Jones

One of those being 53-year-old Djuna Newman. Her story has been seen by thousands after her brother, Carl Tucker took to social media after learning his big sister had been killed.

“That was important to us at the time to do what we could to help the sheriff’s office find this man, not only for killing my sister but he was a dangerous man,” said Tucker.

News 13 spoke with Tucker on Friday morning, the first day his sister’s suspected killer was in custody.

During the interview, Tucker shared how he found out the devastating news. He says an ex-boyfriend of Djuna’s called him.

“We were sitting at home, I and my wife and I was actually playing my guitar. Me and my wife just sitting here, having a good time and Freddy contacted us via Facebook Messenger, He called us.”

He says while this man was his sister’s ex, he had stayed in contact with Newman and still cared for her. He says for him to be calling, Tucker knew something was wrong.

“My wife just collapsed crying and my first thought was I need to verify this. So, I contacted the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. I gave my number to Lieutenant Jeremy Mathis.”  

Tucker says Mathis got back in touch with him and confirmed the deceased female was Newman.

“Nobody expects to get a call like that and from that point on, we were just in turmoil the entire time but that Lt. Mathis and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office were absolutely phenomenal. I know I called and texted aggravated him so many times and each time I either text or call him, he got back with me very quickly,” said Tucker. 

From this point on, the two men remained in contact throughout the hunt.

“Folks don’t understand or realize we have somebody to be that liaison with the family to try and keep them updated and what’s going on and where we are in the process because as much as we want to solve the case, the family wants the case solved and they want justice for their family member that’s been killed,” said Mathis.

Tucker says he retired from working with the Department of Corrections in Georgia and understands how chaotic an active scene and manhunt can be but keeping the family up to date, Mathis says, is a priority for deputies.

“All of our investigators believe, the family knowing what’s going on is also one of the most important aspects of these investigations because I couldn’t imagine this happening to my loved one and someone not telling me what’s going on,” said Mathis.

Tucker says he was amazed at how quickly the deputies would respond to his calls or texts. He also said the community came together to show support and keep him up to date, a lot of those people being viewers of News 13.

“Your news station, in particular, I posted those videos to your news station, you were the only ones I posted those videos too and the people in that community must be phenomenal because I was getting so many messages from people in the community down there that I didn’t know. They were offering their condolences; people were sending me news broadcasts. I was getting information from the people that watch your station faster than what the police could get to me,” said Tucker.

He says viewers were even the first to tell him Jones was in custody and then reached out to Lieutenant Mathis for confirmation.

“Boy when I got word when he was in custody, I just started crying, I and my wife both did. I can’t express to you the feeling you get, it’s a feeling you get of tremendous sadness that this happened but you just rejoice they got them.”

Sheriff Tommy Ford also called Tucker after the manhunt was over.

“I can say I have nothing but high praise for the sheriff’s office, especially the Sheriff and Lieutenant Mathis. I hope that Lieutenant Mathis receives some kind of award in recognition in the way he performed his job and the way he communicated with me.” 

He says now that the worry of Jones out of their minds, Tucker and their family can now focus on honoring Newman.

“Djuna was a phenomenal person. She had an electric personality and a powerful presence. When she walked into a room, she took over it and when she loved you, she loved you with all her heart.”

Newman also had two sons and was expecting her first grandchild.

The family has also set up a GoFund Me page to help pay for Newman’s funeral expenses. Visit the page or donate here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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