“She was a loving person:” New Hanover High School students honor slain classmate

The desk where Miyonna Jones used to sit is now wrapped in red paper. Jones was found dead last Thursday after crews spent more than two weeks searching for
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:17 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - As students take their seats in one classroom at New Hanover High School, one desk remains empty. That desk, now wrapped in red paper, is where Miyonna Jones used to sit. Jones was found dead last Thursday after crews spent more than two weeks searching for her.

The tragedy is one Jones’ friends and classmates at NHHS never expected.

“A friend like this, when something like this happens and it’s so close to home, it’s kind of unbelievable,” said Makayla Cobbs, an NHHS student and friend of Jones.

Several students and staff members wore red on Tuesday to honor Jones, saying red was her favorite color. A group of students and teachers also set up a memorial in front of the school.

“We all had the idea of knowing that her favorite color was red and that she would love this for us to do and that it would make her happy,” said Megan Broxton, a junior at NHHS.

The last several weeks have been stressful and emotional for those close to Jones and her family. Art Teacher Latoshya Raynor is proud to see how students and staff have supported each other.

“Seeing the strength of the school and the strength of her classmates and friends all come together and wear red in support of her is wordless, it’s very powerful,” Raynor said.

Jones’ friends describe her as a leader. Classmate Amaera Rollinson says even after Jones’ death, she still brings people together.

“We laughed together, we cried together, we made this [memorial] together and I just felt like we just got closer to each other,” Rollinson said. “You know, even though we lost her, I felt like we came to one and we got way closer with each other.”

When Jones’ friends talk about her, the word “love” is a common theme.

“We always talked, whenever we see each other we always tell each other we love each other, and we’ve always just been, basically, Pre-K best friends,” said Cobbs.

Jones’ friends hope her kind spirit will live in New Hanover High School and beyond.

“I wanted people to know that she was a loving person. I wanted people to know that she was really funny. I wanted people to know that she was one of the sweetest people ever and you can always count on her for anything. If you couldn’t count on nobody else, you could count on Miyonna,” said Rollinson.

Jones’ half-brother, Jahreese Jones is charged with first-degree murder in connection to her death. Randi Johnson and Judy McKnight are charged with obstruction of justice.