Black History Month: Ta’Niyah Leonard

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Ta’Niyah Monique Leonard, an eleven-month old baby who disappeared from Bartow, Florida on October 19, 2002.

Sadly it’s not likely that Ta’Niyah is alive today. The police have two main suspects: her parents, Michael Lewis and Miranda Jones. The couple often had violent arguments, sometimes involving weapons. The cops think one or both of Ta’Niyah’s parents was responsible for her death.

This is a problem in terms of the prosecution, as I note in her casefile, since the parents are blaming each other:

Investigators believe either Lewis or Jones is responsible for Ta’Niyah’s disappearance and probable death, but they cannot proceed with charges against either of them due to a lack of evidence and due to the two suspects’ conflicting stories. Prosecutors offered both of them immunity from any charges if they would return Ta’Niyah alive, but neither Lewis nor Jones accepted the offer.

This love-hate relationship between Lewis and Jones continued after Ta’Niyah’s disappearance. Even as they both blamed each other, they conceived another child, a girl, who was immediately taken away after birth and adopted. Last I heard, in 2006, Jones had had a son (not by Lewis; the father might have been this guy) and she was about to lose her parental rights towards this baby as well.

I don’t know what Ta’Niyah’s parents have been up to since 2006; with surnames like “Lewis” and “Jones” it’s hard to trace their movements. If Ta’Niyah is alive, she’d be 17 now.

One thought on “Black History Month: Ta’Niyah Leonard

  1. Miranda Jones July 21, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    To Megan or whoever wrote this blog about my daughter Ta’Niyah Leonard. Please when making blogs or doing research on someone’s missing daughter, Make sure you disclose the RIGHT information. You are saying that my daughter is dead…..how could you say such a thing.
    No matter how long it has been, me and her siblings have hope and FAITH. Its because of people like you that saddens little children (my other children) about their oldest sister. Almost none of that is true. In 2006, bartow police department no longer labeled me as a suspect. I have more children which I have custody of. 5 of them to be exact! I LOOK for my daughter all the time especially on social media bc of her age, that’s how I seen your blog. I have been seeing this Charlie project for years now. If you would like to ask any questions concerning TaNiyah or I, u can contact me directly. I would appreciate if you would not put lies but facts. We (Ta’Niyah and I) are real human beings that you are talking about and not some made up story that you are putting in your own words. Please and Thank you!

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