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Missing teen found dead in Memphis
Tracy Jones

LEBANON - Catherine Barbour of Lebanon received devastating news this week: Her 19-year-old daughter, missing since November, had been found dead in Memphis, Tenn.

Tracy Onawa Jones, 19, formerly of Albany, went missing on Nov. 15 from a truck stop near Galloway, Ark., outside of Little Rock. She had been working since late June for Pennsylvania-based Atlantic Circulation, Inc., which solicits magazine subscriptions door-to-door.

The last time Jones was seen, she was at a truck stop off Interstate 40. Standard procedure was for the sellers to get dropped off at a location and get picked up 30 to 45 minutes later. Barbour said Jones apparently had been successful at the location before.

"I don't know why they did it at a truck stop," she said. "I still kind of wonder about that."

Barbour moved to the Lebanon area early this summer from Albany. She found out on Nov. 16 that her daughter was missing.

Jones had her cell phone, Oregon I.D., some money and a necklace with her when she was dropped off at the truck stop. Her purse was with the rest of her belongings, and was what the police recovered when she was first reported missing.

Jones was in a relationship with her crew manager, Rob Blair. The necklace she was wearing had been a gift from him on her 19th birthday in September.

Sgt. Terry Kuykendall of the North Little Rock Police Department said that Blair called Jones at about 4 p.m. Nov. 15 after she was dropped off at the truck stop. He called her about a half hour later and her phone rang but Jones didn't answer. He called again and it went directly to her voice mail.

Two days later, Blair reported Jones missing to the North Little Rock Police Department.

"We learned it was very unlikely for her to not have contact with her family," Kuykendall said.

The police department began an investigation and Jones was entered into the database for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

On Nov. 26, Memphis police responded to a 911 call about a deceased woman who was found in a semi-wooded area on the side of a road.

According to Memphis police, the woman had "apparent knife wounds to her head and body," and her death was ruled a homicide "due to head trauma."

Her identity was confirmed early this week.

The FBI is involved in the investigation, as the case spans multiple states. No suspects have been identified.

Barbour described her daughter as outgoing and independent.

"Tracy was, wow, full of energy," Barbour said. She called Jones "chameleon" because she "could see you and know what you want of her."

Jones attended West Albany High School until her senior year, when she transferred to Corvallis High School for a brief period before dropping out. She promised her mother that she would obtain her G.E.D. within a year.

She kept in constant contact with her mother, calling every time the group moved to a new state. Barbour said that recently, Jones had said she was homesick, but she wanted to hold out until February for a possible sales-related incentive.

Barbour, who works at the Mennonite Village, told her she could come home any time she wanted to.

Reporter Carrie Petersen contributed to this story.

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