ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Today marks seven years since Morgan Martin of St. Petersburg teen vanished. Though her body was never found, police believe the teen, 17 at the time, was murdered, and the man accused of that murder is set to go to trial.
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It was just after 12:30 a.m. on July 25, 2012.
Leah Martin, Morgan's mother, said Morgan told her sister she was going outside to talk to the man she believed was the father of her unborn baby.
“I don’t know if she was in love with him or not," Martin told us. "I think she loved the idea of it."
As a mother, Martin said she was concerned. Her daughter was just a teenager and the man in question, Jacobee Flowers, was 24 years old at the time.
But Martin said her daughter was determined.
“She didn’t have a dad in her life and I think she was kind of hoping that he would be in the baby’s life,” said Martin.
And so, Morgan left her home on 17th Avenue South that night, telling her sister not to lock the door.
“She was just going outside. That was it,” Martin said. “She went out the front door and that was it. Nobody has seen her ever.”
When she didn’t show up the next day, Martin reported her missing.
“When I got up in the morning I was so mad,” Leah said. “I called her phone even and I told her call me back and she never did.”
Four years later, Jacobee Flowers was arrested and charged with murder. Though Morgan’s body was never found, detectives believe they have a solid case, outlined in a 33-page indictment.
Much of the evidence listed in the document is electronic in nature, including what police claim are text messages between the two discussing Morgan’s pregnancy and cell phone tower analysis showing Flowers's phone in the area of Morgan’s home at the time she went missing.
Also included in the indictment – a possible motive. Detectives believe Flowers did not want Morgan to have the baby because she was a minor and he also already had a girlfriend.
Now 31-years-old, Flowers maintains his innocence, pleading not guilty to the first-degree murder charge. His attorney declined an interview on his behalf, but according to the indictment, Flowers told detectives he never had a relationship with Morgan and hadn’t spoken to her for months before she disappeared.
His trial is set for November.