Philadelphia, PA

Little Boy Lost — Where is Tyson Jones?

A.W. Naves

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Tyler in 2017 and progressed to age 7NCMEC

It is never easy to lose a child, but Diane Gardner has lost both a child and a grandchild. After Gardner’s daughter, Kristi Gardner, committed suicide last year, her grief was compounded by learning that her 3-year-old grandson, Tyson Jones, was also missing. Though Gardner had been concerned about not having seen him since Kristi moved out of her home and in with a friend in 2017, it must have come as quite a shock to know he wasn’t with his mother and perhaps hadn’t been for some time.

Tyson’s absence was only discovered after Kristi was reported missing on September 4, 2020. She was found the following day with a fatal gunshot wound to the head, having taken her own life. Tyson was nowhere to be found. Both Kristi’s mother and Tyson’s paternal aunt had been looking for him in the days before that, but he wasn’t with his mother’s body and there was no information left behind to indicate his whereabouts.

According to The Charley Project, it is unclear what happened between Kristi leaving her mother’s home in 2017 and her suicide in 2020. After she was found dead and an investigation began into Tyson’s whereabouts, police were left to try to piece together what they could to determine how long Tyson had been missing.

It was eventually concluded that Tyson had not been seen since September 10, 2017, while he was with his mother. Gardner had only been able to talk to Kristi through texts and online chats. Each time she asked her daughter where Tyson was, she got a different explanation for his location.

According to a post written by Christine Barndt on missingkids.org, members from the two families devastated by both Krysti’s death and Tyson’s disappearance had the following to say:

“I ask that anyone with a heart, anyone with a sound mind, body, and soul, if you see my nephew, get in contact with someone. If you know anything about his disappearance, get in contact with someone. To Tyson, we will never give up on you until we bring you home. We love you.” — Shakera Jones, paternal aunt

“We miss him, we love him, we want him to come home,” said Diane. “We want him to be with his brother and sister again. We know he’s out there and we just need to find him.” — Diane Gardner, maternal grandmother

Tyson was born on August 5, 2013, to Kristi and her boyfriend, Tyshan Jones. Members of both the Jones and Gardner family describe Tyson as happy and playful. They say he loved Mickey Mouse, Ninja Turtles, and going to the park to play on the slide. There didn’t seem to be any indications that he was anything but content.

Tyson is a multi-racial male of African American, Pacific Islander, and Caucasian descent. He has black hair and brown eyes. Though Tyson will have obviously changed in the three years that he’s been missing, he had a shaved head the last time he was seen. Perhaps there is someone out there who saw him back then that may not recount it until now. He would have been between 3’0” — 3’ 8” and weighed 30–40 pounds. He possibly had a birthmark on his right shoulder blade and might have been noticed blinking a lot. Because of the odd circumstances under which he went missing, he is considered to be endangered.

Currently, Tyson would be 8 years old. The Charley Project has multiple photos posted on their site showing how he looked when he went missing and an age progression done last year when he would have been 7 years old. You can review the information they currently have and see any future updates they may add by visiting their site.

The Philadelphia Police Department asks that anyone who has any information about the events surrounding Tyson’s disappearance or his current whereabouts to call them at 215–686–3093.

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Freelance Writer. Author. Alabamian. I write about true crimes, unsolved cases, and macabre mysteries.

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