Amir Jennings Case One Year Later

Local police frustrated but determined


By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- As Christmas nears, it's another holiday without Amir Jennings. In fact, it was this same time last year that the toddler's disappearance gripped the heart of a nation. Tonight, what local law enforcement is doing differently, one year later, to finally solve this case.

"It's a constant research of info we currently have because we don't have a lot of new information. We want to make sure we didn't miss anything," Columbia Police Sergeant Arthur Thomas told ABC Columbia News in a recent interview.

In addition to repeatedly going over old evidence, investigators are determined to uncover something new in the missing persons case involving Amir Jennings.

"I don't believe someone has been holding this child all this time," said Thomas.

Columbia toddler, then 18-months old and now two-and-a-half, vanished around Thanksgiving 2011. Mother, Zinah Jennings, whom police say has never fully cooperated with authorities, is serving a
10-year prison sentence for unlawful conduct towards a child. However, the missing persons case doesn't end, even though she is behind bars.

Amir still has not been found.

"There are cases known as 'nobody cases' where you can't locate a body but you still have enough evidence to possibly prosecute. I'm looking at that," said Sgt. Thomas.

Investigators are also following every lead, he says, no matter how strange it may sound, like the call he recently got from Oklahoma.

"Remains were found near a pipe line. A guy believed it to be a 2-3 year old child. It so happened it was small animal remains, but you never know. Anything that comes to us, we will follow up on it."

Other road blocks, including not able to track cell phones he claims Zinah Jennings and others used in the crime, he laments, are frustrating. Nevertheless, Thomas stresses no one is giving up on this case.

"My focus is finding, locating and identifying what happened to Amir and being able to prove it."

The baby girl Zinah Jennings gave birth to while in prison, now three months old, is said to be doing well. Sources close to the investigation tell us an adoption could soon be in progress.

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