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Man Indicted in 1996 Murder

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Ky. (Brad Underwood) -- A local woman was dumped in a cistern in 1996 and family members never gave up hope her murder would be solved.

Now it appears that it has happened.  Jacki Ann Bonner's body was found all those years ago and nearly twenty years later the Campbell County grand jury indicts a suspect, Joseph Morgan, who now faces murder charges.

Quite the range of emotions the Bonner family has felt over the last 24 hours, the last 18 years.  Can you imagine waiting that long after a parent was murdered before you're told someone has been indicted for the crime?  That's exactly how long Jacinta Bonner waited, but finally she says she got the phone call that gave her chills.

In 1996, Campbell County police pulled a body out of a cistern, so badly decomposed it took a year to identify it as the body of Jacki Ann Bonner.  A nationally renown forensic anthropologist and hard police worked connected those dots allowing them to ID Bonner. 

It wasn't a secret that Bonner abused drugs and alcohol, and in fact her daughter Jacinta says she and her brother were removed from Bonner's care at a young age and didn't even know she was missing, let alone dead.

"We knew she lived in Cincinnati, we didn't have much contact with her because of her lifestyle."

Now, 18 years later, a grand jury has indicted 48-year-old Joseph Morgan on murder charges.  Jacinta Bonner says when the prosecutors office called her Thursday, they told her Morgan confessed to the killing.

Once she hung up, her brother was the first call.

"You could just hear that weight and him being my brother I know. Because we share this and it's still hard for us."

Bonner is a Sgt. First Class in the army and is stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas.  She says she often thought about her mother and frequently tried to find updates.

"I actually googled the names of the police, the detectives, the people that were in the newspaper clippings, because that's all I had, newspaper clippings."

Morgan is already in the Campbell County jail on charges of parole violation and contempt of court.  At this point it's unclear what connection, if any, there is between between Bonner and Morgan.

Jacinta did tell me that she will be forever grateful to the Campbell County police and prosecutors office for never giving up on this case.

Morgan will remain in the Campbell County jail until his arraignment on the murder charge.  No date has been set for that yet.




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