Arrest made in March 2016 murder of 16-year-old girl - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Arrest made in March 2016 murder of 16-year-old girl

Kevin Bentley (Source: Beaufort County Detention Center) Kevin Bentley (Source: Beaufort County Detention Center)

Violent Crimes Detectives with Savannah-Chatham Metro Police, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Marshals, and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office have arrested a man for the March 2016 murder of 16-year-old Altonise Jones. 

Officials say 58-year-old Kevin Bentley was found at a family member's house on St. Helena Island and taken into custody. He's being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center, awaiting extradition. 

Police tell us there are no other suspects in the case, and that Bentley was a family friend. 

"The suspect was known to the family, and the suspect has been on our radar; just a matter of putting the case together and making sure everything is done. All the t's are crossed and all of the i's are dotted," said Major Richard Zapal, SCMPD, Criminal Investigations Unit. 

Alvin Scott, the father of Altoniese Jones, spoke with WTOC after police made an arrest Thursday.

"You took my pride and joy man, you didn’t have to do that, that wasn’t yours."

He said Bentley is a family friend who he has known since he was a child. But from day one he had his suspicions that Bentley killed his daughter

"We already knew that he did it, but the people who tried to make my mom’s house like it was a bad house and all of this, now y'all know why we said what we did because we knew what we knew,” said Scott.

In March 2016, Altoniese Jones was first reported missing by coworkers. Days later a relative found her brutally killed inside her grandmother’s home.

Scott says Bentley didn’t have a key to the house but was let in by another family member.

"Altoniese didn’t know he was in the house because she was on the phone talking to her boyfriend, they guy says, and he heard her scream,” said Scott.

A little more than a year later police made the arrest and say that Bentley had been on their radar for some time, but they had to get all the information correct first.

"We continue to work cases even if they're a year old and we're going to do everything we can to put these suspects to justice and help these family rest these victims,” said SCMPD Det. Michael Rowan.

Scott says he was so proud of his daughter and she will never be forgotten.

"You can fix what’s broken, but you can't get back what’s lost," Scott said. 

Altonise's mother also commented on the arrest to WTOC on Thursday.

"I see my daughter's face in my head every single day. When I see this person's picture on the news and I see this 58-year-old man, (who) hurt my 16-year-old daughter…it gives me chills to even see it,” said Tarasha Jones. 

SCMPD held a news conference after Thursday's arrest announcement.

"Rule of thumb is if you don't solve it in 48 hours, it's probably not going to get solved. We don't think that way. We try our best to make sure every case gets as much attention as we can and we keep going. We stick with these cases,” said SCMPD Maj. Richard Zapal.

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