Woman’s death a homicide

Published 10:10 pm Monday, November 8, 2010

The death of a 31-year-old woman who was found dead in her home Sunday has been ruled a homicide. Police would like to speak with a Texas resident about the woman’s death.

Katina Jones, of the 4300 block of Crowdy Boulevard off Bridge Road, was found dead Sunday when her daughter’s father went to the house because he couldn’t get in touch with her, city spokeswoman Debbie George said. When Jones didn’t come to the door, the man used his key to get in and found her.

Police were called about 2:30 p.m., George said. An autopsy conducted Monday caused police to rule her death a homicide, but officials declined to release the cause of death.

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Police were seeking Jones’ 2003 Toyota Echo, which was originally missing. However, Norfolk police found the car in their city Sunday night.

As part of the investigation, police would like to speak with Larry N. O’Neal, who also goes by the

Larry O'Neal

nickname “Tumbleweed,” George said. O’Neal, 32, lives in Texas, but he has been visiting Portsmouth recently, George said. O’Neal is an acquaintance of Jones who police believe was with her Sunday.

Jones’ 8-year-old daughter was with her grandparents on Sunday, George said.

According to Jones’ Facebook page, she grew up in Norfolk and graduated from Portsmouth’s Churchland High School in 1997. She also lists Old Dominion University as a school she has attended. She had been working in the deli and bakery department at the Harris Teeter in Suffolk since May 2009.

Last month, Jones and O’Neal conversed via Facebook about his request for a ride home from the Greyhound bus station in Norfolk. O’Neal was hoping for volunteers to give him a ride, and Jones responded asking what time he would be arriving. The exchange occurred on Oct. 28, but it does not say when O’Neal would be arriving in Norfolk.

On Friday, one of Jones’ Facebook friends had posted on her profile referencing her death.

“I still can not believe one of my best friends are gone,” Olivia Footman wrote. “You see violence on the tv but when it hits home it is a totally different story.”

Anyone who has information is asked to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. Callers to Crime Line never have to give their names or appear in court, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.