NewsPinellas County


St. Pete mother waits for answers after her son's body was found in a lake near alligators

The body of Jarvis Deliford was found on July 4
Posted at 11:01 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 23:24:17-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A mother waits for answers after her son's body was discovered in a lake earlier this month.

Officers said the body of 16-year-old Jarvis Deliford was found in the mangroves at the southeast corner of Lake Maggiore in St. Petersburg.

RELATED: Body of 16-year-old found with 'alligator involvement' in St. Peterburg's Lake Maggiore

His mother, Regina Wooten, hopes someone comes forward with information about what led up to his death.

"That's what I am here for... I'm here to get justice. I'm demanding justice for my son," said Regina Wooten.

Detectives wait on an official autopsy to determine a cause of death, but said there were no obvious signs of foul play.

Wooten believes someone is responsible for her son's death.

"He did not know how to swim. There is no way he slipped or was out here fooling around and he ended up in the lake and drowned. Someone murdered my child," she said.

Family and friends gathered on Tuesday evening near the lake where his body was discovered.

"Parents aren't supposed to bury their children. It's not supposed to happen like that," said Corey Givens, Jr. with St. Petersburg Poor People's Campaign.

According to police, Deliford was last seen on June 29. They said he cut his ankle monitor and left his home. He had been released from juvenile detention.

"Jarvis desired to get out of the system," said his mother.

Investigators want to learn more about where he was or who he was with before his death.

Anyone with information on Deliford's death is asked to call St. Petersburg Police at 727-893-7780 or text SPPD plus your tip to TIP411.

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