Blanca Romero talks on the phone Friday with Toledo police Sgt. Tim Noble about the hunt for Marquis Walker, who is wanted in the death of Jordan Jones-Harris, 23, Ms. Romero’s stepdaughter.
THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY
He had to be joking. Another one of those stupid jokes. Jordan wasn’t dead — she couldn’t be.
“I really wish you wouldn’t play,” Blanca Romero said to her long-time partner, Jordan Jones-Harris’ father, Kendall Harris.
Mr. Harris began to cry and then scream.
“That is just the most horrifying phone call you can ever get,” Ms. Romero said.
Mr. Harris’ youngest daughter, only 23, was shot multiple times at her West Toledo apartment Oct. 13, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, Marquis Walker, whom police have charged with murder.
Mr. Walker, 29, of 1248 Willow Ave. has not been arrested, but police said they are actively searching for him. He is the first of two men in the last two weeks that police are pursuing.
Wednesday night, Ms. Romero and Mr. Harris were watching the news when word about another shooting, another young woman killed, allegedly by her boyfriend, was the breaking-news headline.
Mariah Wells, 22, of Newark, Ohio, was found dead, laying on the street in front of 658 Spring St., the home of her boyfriend's mother.
Police have charged that boyfriend, Dimitrias Graves, 27, of 159 Everett St. with murder and three counts of felonious assault — another woman was shot in an eye and two other women were shot at, police said.
In Jordan Jones-Harris' case, Ms. Romero is doing all she can to aid police in their efforts — she has passed out flyers with Mr. Walker’s face on them, and solicited tips from shopkeepers and anyone who stops long enough to listen.
“I just want him off the streets,” she said Friday morning, surrounded by her collection of angels inside her Olde Towne apartment. “One of our biggest fears is, what if we walk into a store and he’s there?”
With the flyers and news interviews, Ms. Romero is hoping someone will help police track down Mr. Walker or that he will surrender to the authorities.
“My continual plea has been, turn yourself in,” Ms. Romero said. “Take responsibility for what you did. You know, he supposedly wanted everybody to believe he loved her. This isn’t love. What he did is not love. The way he is hiding right now is not love.”
Ms. Jones-Harris dated Mr. Walker for years, but ended the relationship several months ago, Ms. Romero said.
She wasn’t sure how the two met, but said, at least in the beginning, Mr. Walker appeared to be good to Ms. Jones-Harris.
Now, looking back at photographs, Ms. Romero can see there was a point where Ms. Jones-Harris’ bright and wide smile became shy grins.
It could have been a sign, Ms. Romero said.
“She was the epitome of unconditional love,” Ms. Romero said. “She was a very caring, genuine person. If you were loved by Jordan, you knew. You never had to question it. You didn’t need to hear her say that she loved you. … Love is an action word and that’s the message of Jordan’s life.”
In the more recent case, police said neither Ms. Wells whose lungs were pierced by a single bullet, nor the other women, appear to be the intended target.
Police ask that anyone who knows the whereabouts of Mr. Walker or Mr. Graves call Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111. If either are spotted, call 911.