The Disappearance of Jonathan Foster
Jonathan Foster was a 12-year-old boy who lived in Houston, Texas, with his mother Angela Davis and her friend Sharon Ennamorato. On Christmas Eve of 2010, he was left home alone while his mother went to work. He never returned.
According to ABC13, Angela Davis received a suspicious phone call from her apartment around 2 pm, where she heard a woman ask, “Is your mama’s name Angela?” and Jonathan reply, “Yes ma’am, my mama’s name is Angela.” She rushed home to find her son missing and reported him to the police around 3:45 pm.
The police initially thought that Jonathan might have run away, but issued an Amber Alert on December 27, 2010. The next day, they found an unidentified burnt body of a child in a ditch on North Shepherd and 43rd Street, about five miles away from Jonathan’s apartment. It was wrapped in a carpet and tied up with twine.
The Identification of Jonathan Foster
The body was so badly burned and disfigured that it was impossible to recognize. The police had to use dental records to confirm that it was Jonathan Foster. An autopsy showed that he was not alive when he was burned, but the cause of death could not be determined due to the extent of the damage.
According to The Cinemaholic, pathologist Dr. Paul Radelat said, “I believe he was dead by the time he was burned… This child was turned into a piece of firewood… I can’t say with any certainty what burned him…”
The police also found evidence that Jonathan’s body was burned at the residence of Mona Nelson, a 44-year-old welder who drove a silver truck similar to the one seen on the surveillance video where Jonathan’s body was dumped. Nelson was arrested and charged with murder, but she denied killing Jonathan. She admitted to disposing of his body, but claimed that she was paid by someone else to do so.
The Trial of Mona Nelson
Mona Nelson’s trial began in 2013, and she opted to have a judge decide her fate instead of a jury. The prosecution argued that Nelson was a cold, soulless murderer who abducted Jonathan from his home, killed him with blunt force trauma to the head, and burned his body with welding tools. They presented evidence such as twine, torches, and bloodstains found in Nelson’s apartment, as well as phone records that placed her near Jonathan’s apartment and the ditch where his body was found.
The defense, however, claimed that Nelson was a scapegoat and that the real killer was someone close to Jonathan, possibly his mother or stepfather. They pointed out the lack of motive, eyewitnesses, or confession from Nelson, as well as the inconsistencies in the phone call that Angela Davis received. They also questioned the reliability of the forensic evidence, which was contaminated by the fire and the water used to extinguish it.
According to Fresherslive, the judge found Nelson guilty of murder and sentenced her to life in prison without parole. Nelson maintained her innocence and appealed her conviction, but it was upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2016.
The Legacy of Jonathan Foster
Jonathan Foster’s murder shocked and saddened the community, who remembered him as a happy, outgoing, and well-liked boy. His family and friends held vigils, memorials, and fundraisers in his honor. His uncle, Glenn Scrimsher, who had raised him for four years, said, “Jonathan was a wonderful kid. He was like my son.”
Jonathan Foster’s case also raised awareness about the dangers of child abduction and the importance of child safety. His story was featured on several media outlets and documentaries, such as ‘The Interrogator: Missing on Christmas Eve’ and ‘See No Evil’.
However, despite the conviction of Mona Nelson, many questions remain unanswered about Jonathan Foster’s cause of death and the motive behind his murder. Was Nelson acting alone or with an accomplice? Did she know Jonathan or his family? What was the reason for her brutal act? These are some of the mysteries that still haunt the investigators and the public, who hope to find closure and justice for Jonathan Foster.