Coroner Releases Cause of Death for Janaya Thompson

Reported by: Sarah Duffey
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Updated: 7/18 7:15 pm
The Harrison County Coroner has released the cause of death of Janaya Thompson, the five year old whose body was found in a vacant trailer Thursday morning. Gulfport Police say they have two persons of interest in custody and are building a capital murder case.

All day Friday, friends, family, as well as strangers having been stopping by Janaya Thompson's memorial where her body was found Thursday morning to pay their respects. Police have released her cause of death and have two persons of interests in this capital murder case. Rashoun Rankin, a family friend, says, "How they did her, they don't deserve to be sitting nowhere, whoever did it deserves the death penalty."

Rashoun and Louis Rankin are still in shock to hear about the death of Janaya Thompson. The two grew up with Janaya's father, and hope there is justice for the family after learning the cause of death was strangulation. Louis Rankin says, "I mean, a five year old, who would strangle a five year old? That’s the same way they need to do to him when he get in there, strangle him, take his life, because a five year old doesn’t deserve this."

Gulfport Police and the Harrison County Coroner confirmed Janaya's cause of death at a media conference Friday morning. Police say they are treating the case as a capital murder, meaning the perpetrator is eligible for the death penalty. Gary Hargrove, the Harrison Co. Coroner, says, "A lot of questions have come up about the cause of death of Janaya Thompson. This young lady died as the result of asphyxiation due to strangulation."

Hargrove refused to comment on any other details about Janaya's body due to the sensitivity of the investigation. Police say they have two persons of interest in custody, Julian Grey and Alberto Julio Garcia, roommates who live at the Palms Apartments in Gulfport. Those are the same apartments Janaya lived with her family before she disappeared. Leonard Papania, Gulfport Police Chief, says, "Two persons of interest in the murder have been arrested for separate offenses."

Both suspects are being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center on charges not related to the death of Janaya Thompson. If you'd like to show the family support, there is a bank account set up at Hancock Bank in Gulfport to help pay for Janaya's funeral.



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