Police: Mother, Infant Dead; Woman's Body Identified and Baby's Remains Believed to Be in a Landfill, Rutherford Says

Article excerpt

Byline: Dana Treen, The Times-Union

A body found in a wooded area south of Waldo is missing Jacksonville mother Lynda Jean Wilkes, and police said they believe her 10-month-old son's remains are in a landfill.

Wilkes, 40, and son Jay-Quan Mosley were last seen April 22. Her unlocked car was found that day in a Northside JCPenney parking lot.

Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said when police were given details that were developed into a sketch of the Alachua County site, they were also told about the landfill. At a news conference Sunday night, the sheriff said he believed both leads were accurate and that an expert in landfill searches has been called to help in the search for the boy.

He would not say where the landfill was located or who gave police the information, other than to say it was someone investigators have been working with.

Wilkes' remains were identified by the medical examiner in Duval County. The body was found off U.S. 301 about 6 miles south of Waldo.

Based on the confirmation of Wilkes' identity, "we have reason to believe that Jay-Quan Mosley has been murdered," Rutherford said.

Ginny Cardinale, director of Families In Need of Direction, a group helping Wilkes' family, said the family was told Friday that the body found in Alachua County was Wilkes. She said they did not learn until last night of the landfill search, but were prepared to learn the baby was also dead.

"They said to me they want to wait until Jay-Quan's body is found before they have a funeral," Cardinale said. "The fact that it is a landfill is devastating. It is horrible."

Family members said from the start that the disappearance was highly uncharacteristic of Wilkes, adding that her attentiveness to the baby and her other children was unwavering.

"Life is like a pattern as far as the things she does," Bryant Tompkins, 40, who had two children with Wilkes, said during the search last week. …