A 15-Year-Old Is in Custody After Mo. Man Was Found Dead by Sister — But Family Thinks Teen Didn't Act Alone

The older sister of Malik Jones, whose body was found in mid-Missouri on Feb. 7, is asking for anyone with information about his death to come forward

<p>Courtesy Neeka Smith</p> Malik Jones

Courtesy Neeka Smith

Malik Jones

When 25-year-old Malik Jones didn't contact his family for more than a week in late January, they immediately suspected foul play.

Jones' older sister, Neeka Smith, tells PEOPLE that it was unlike her brother to not call his family for even a day, so after he vanished on Jan. 30, she and her mother, Shawna Patterson, made it their mission to bring Jones home. On Feb. 7, while searching near Columbia, Mo., Smith made a grim discovery.

Smith says that while her and Patterson drove down roads in Columbia from morning until night searching for any sign of Jones, her mom looked out the left window and she looked out the right. Then on Feb. 7, Smith saw something. She got out of the car and walked toward the woods.

"I knew it was my brother," Smith says. "I know the shape of my brother. I know … I know him from head to toe.”

<p>Courtesy Neeka Smith</p> From left, Malik Jones, his sister Neeka Smith, his mother Shawna Patterson and his brother JaQuan McDonald.

Courtesy Neeka Smith

From left, Malik Jones, his sister Neeka Smith, his mother Shawna Patterson and his brother JaQuan McDonald.

“I just immediately broke down, started screaming for my mom,” Smith adds.

Smith then alerted authorities. Britt Shea, the Investigations Lieutenant at the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed to PEOPLE on Monday that Jones' case is being investigated as a homicide. One person, a 15-year-old, has been arrested in connection with Jones' death, but the charges that person is facing have not been made public.

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Although one arrest has been made, Smith says she does not believe the teen acted alone. “Given Malik's size, a little 15-year-old is not going to be able to do anything with Malik by himself,” Smith says.

Shea says "more arrests are possible," but did not provide any details on possible persons of interest.

<p>Courtesy Neeka Smith</p> Malik Jones

Courtesy Neeka Smith

Malik Jones

“They took away a very big piece of this family, and that hurts a lot,” Smith says. “I’m hurt, I'm angry, but I want everybody involved to be caught."

Jones’ cause of death has not been released, but his family is asking anyone who may have information to come forward. 

Related: Sister Finds Her Missing Brother's Body While She and Her Mom Searched for Him

"If anyone knows something, if they hear anything, go to the police or contact me, contact my mom — somebody," Smith says, adding that anyone with tips regarding her brother's disappearance and death can contact her on Facebook. People with information are also asked to contact the Boone County Sheriff's Office at 573-442-6131. To leave an anonymous tip, call CrimeStoppers at 573-875-TIPS (8477).

"We are still very interested in additional information and are still actively investigating this case," Shea says. "Good tips are potentially eligible for a reward."

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