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A'Shia's father, Kenneth Gabriel Jenkins Jr., told police she was abducted at 9:05 a.m. on February 11. A photograph of Kenneth is posted below this case summary. He claimed that he, A'Shia, and A'Shia's twin sister got into an unlicensed taxicab and in the middle of the ride, the driver turned around and threatened him with a gun, demanding money. Kenneth was able to get himself and A'Shia's sister out of the car, but it sped off with A'Shia still inside. Kenneth described the car as an older model white four-door Honda Accord with a black interior. He described the driver as an African-American male in his late twenties or early thirties who was wearing black pants, a black and white striped shirt, and black shoes.
An Amber Alert was issued in A'Shia's case, but it was canceled after two days. Police said they had decided Kenneth's story was a fabrication, based on inconsistencies in the story and outside information they had uncovered. They began searching landfills for A'Shia's body. The next day, Kenneth was charged with first-degree murder in A'Shia's case. He confessed to accidentally smothering the child in his home in the 2500 block of Francis Street, as he was trying to stifle her crying in the early morning hours on the day of her disappearance. He said he panicked because he had an outstanding warrant against him for probation violation and feared arrest if he went to the police. Instead Kenneth disposed of A'Shia's body in a dumpster and filed the abduction report.
Kenneth initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, child abuse, and making false statements to police, but in December 2003 he entered an Alford plea to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter. An Alford plea does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that there is enough evidence to convict the defendant if the case were to go to trial. Kenneth faces up to ten years in prison; he could have faced life in prison if convicted of the original charges.
A'Shia remains missing. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.