"Person of Interest" in Jessica Lunsford Case in Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/16/05

"Person of Interest" in Jessica Lunsford Case in Savannah

Jessica Lunsford Jessica Lunsford

A ten-year-old Florida girl is still missing, and the search for her has led authorities to Savannah. Over the weekend, police here questioned a "person of interest" in the case.

This man is not only a person of interest. He's also a registered sex offender in the State of Florida. And he may still be in Savannah.

Pictured here is the man police are looking for, 46-year-old Johnny Evander Couey. Last week, the search for Couey led them to the Alamo Plaza motel in Savannah.

Alamo management says Couey stayed there in room 111 last Tuesday and Wednesday. When police finally located him, he had already left.

But, they did find him Saturday at the Salvation Army on Montgomery Street. "We conducted interviews with him and forwarded our information to Citrus County authorities at that time," said Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Sgt. Mike Wilson.

There is still no sign of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford. The people at the Alamo say it appeared Couey was traveling alone.

Now police are once again looking for the convicted sex offender, who may still be in the Savannah area and was seen here as recently as Tuesday.

"If we find him re-locate him in Chatham County, we will be authorized to detain him for Citrus County authorities," said Wilson.

Couey stands 5'4" tall and weighs around 120 pounds. If you have seen him or have any information which could lead police to him, give CrimeStoppers a call at 234.2020.

Citrus County police still are calling him a person of interest. At a news conference this afternoon, they say Couey was staying at a home near Jessica's, and a few days later after her disappearance, he bought a bus ticket under a false name and told someone police would be looking for him.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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