For more than a decade, Tameka Jones held onto the idea — a fantasy, really — that her son would come home one day.
She believed it in April 2002 after she got a call from her then-husband, the man she’d trusted to care for 2-year-old Jahi Turner while she was deployed on a Navy ship off San Diego. “Baby, I can’t find Jahi. The police are here,” she recalled hearing as she stood on the smoke deck of the USS Rushmore, her hand trembling as she held the phone.
Jones, then just 18, was certain she’d see Jahi again even as police told her they didn’t believe her husband’s version of how the boy disappeared. She kept believing it as weeks, months and years went by without charges filed or a body found.
Now divorced and living in Maryland, Jones has tried to deal with the shock, anger and denial that washed over her in waves over the past 18 years.