AMIR JENNINGS – ENDANGERED MISSING – December 5, 2011 – USMCC000181LTWH – UPDATED 05.30.2013
Date of Birth: June 28, 2010
Height: 2’2” Weight: 25 lbs
Hair: Black Eyes: Brown
Missing: December 5, 2011 From: Columbia, SC
On December 8, 2011, 18-month old Amir Jennings’ grandmother, Jocelyn Jennings Nelson, reported her daughter, Zinah Jennings and Amir missing. Jocelyn stated that she had seen her daughter the previous day but became concerned after receiving no response from Zinah on the 8th about the whereabouts of Amir. Jocelyn also stated she was worried about Zinah who struggled with depression and started acting erratically after her son’s birth. Zinah was diagnosed with schizophrenia and is supposed to be taking anti-psychotic medication. Not long before Amir disappeared, Zinah was arrested in Atlanta for prostitution and marijuana possession.
The last confirmed date anyone besides Zinah saw Amir was on November 29, 2011, Thanksgiving, by his father, Roderick Mitchell. Roderick has stated that he had attempted to maintain a relationship with his son, but Zinah Jennings worked to prevent that from happening. The last time Roderick saw Amir, was when he stopped by the Jennings’ home on the 29th to pick his son up for the day, as he had the day off. He had previously made arrangements with Zinah to do so. However, when Roderick arrived at the home, Zinah refused to let Amir go with him. Roderick says he picked up his son, gave him a hug and said ‘I Love You’, and has not seen the boy since.
Columbia police finally tracked down Zinah on Christmas Eve, after she was involved in a car crash. When police interviewed her, they stated she gave numerous conflicting stories as to where Amir was, at one point completely denying she had a child, then claiming Amir to be in various different states with various different people. In an affidavit supporting the search warrant issued for Zinah’s residence and car, a police detective noted that Jennings told him her son was with a man named Ernest Robinson, whom he determined did not exist. Jennings also led police to an apartment building where she said she had left Amir but then was unable to identify a specific apartment where Amir was.
As Zinah continued to tell her story, it became increasingly obvious the similarities it held to the case of missing Caylee Anthony, in which the mother, Casey Anthony gave many different stories, led police on goose chases and claimed her daughter was taken by a nanny that was later found to not exist. As someone who followed the Anthony case very closely, I find myself hoping on all hopes that Casey’s not guilty verdict for the murder of her daughter did not give inspiration to other murderous psychotics to dispose of their children with no concern of being held responsible.
When police informed Zinah that she would be going to jail on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child, she replied `That`s the place I need to be.` A judge set her bond at $150,000.00.
In further interviews Zinah admitted to last seeing Amir in their home on November 29, 2011, but will not divulge any more information, only stating he disappeared and it was up to the police to find him.
When police executed their search warrant, using a cadaver dog, they recovered a shovel in Zinah`s home, and a blood stained blanket and clothes from the back of her car, the blood was later confirmed to be Amir’s. The cadaver dog also alerted to the scent of human decomposition inside Zinah’s car’s trunk and backseat. Police are not commenting whether these items are connected with Amir`s disappearance as they may be explained by the car crash Zinah was in.
A $10,000.00 reward is being offered for information leading to Amir`s return.
The physical search for Amir Jennings has been called off. On the afternoon of January 26, 2012, dozens of federal, state and local police agents and cadaver dog teams searched a county in the central part of the state for the boy who was 18 months old when he disappeared. Columbia police spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said officers scoured an 8-mile radius near a small rural church in Richland County for more than four hours but found no evidence of the boy.
Police are certain Zinah Jennings has been lying to them since the beginning. She does remain behind bars, even though her attorney, Hemphill Pride II (really?), argues she should be released because she is pregnant, suffers from a mental illness and needs medical treatment. (FYI Hemphill – women give birth to babies in jail every day – and these babies are often in better shape than they would be had their mothers run free, doing drugs, drinking, smoking – all those things babies so hate.)
In September of 2012, during Zinah’s trial for unlawful conduct towards a child, she gave birth to a daughter, whom is now in the care of Zinah’s mother. At the trial, prosecution witnesses testified that Zinah had physically abused Amir, didn’t supervise him properly, and talked about possibly selling him or giving him away. She was convicted of unlawful conduct towards a child and sentenced to the maximum term of 10 years in prison.
Authorities maintain they are actively working Amir’s case, but the sad truth is that there is simply a lack of leads and a lack of evidence to go on. It seems that the only person who has knowledge of what happened to Amir, is currently in jail, and may even be the one responsible for the little boy’s death. One can only hope that Zinah Jennings will reveal what happened to Amir, and allow him to be brought home.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Amir Jennings, please immediately contact the Columbia Police Department at:
The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children at: