CAMDEN, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — It’s been an unforgettable day for everyone who has been following the case of Alyssa Cannon and Braydon Ponder. The suspected killer, Jory Worthen, now in custody and being accused of killing them both in June 2019.
“I’m glad he’s in jail. You’re not out living breathing free air that he took from 2 people, you know,” family friends of Alyssa and Braydon, Ashley Jenkins and Desiree Bogus said.
Alyssa and Braydon were brutally murdered inside their home on June 23 though the murder investigation didn’t begin until two days later. Since their deaths almost 16 months ago, Worthen has been on the run.
According to Camden Police Chief Bo Woody, Worthen was finally found Monday afternoon at a motel in California.
“I did speak with an officer who was involved in his apprehension and he did tell me Worthen did give them a brief foot chase and at one point he even climbed on the roofs of some houses,” Chief Woody said.
US Marshals received a tip that Worthen was in the Burbank area. He had been there for about 5 months in and out of different motels. The name Ronald Kleigler was an alias he used for an unspecified time.
A cell phone was also recovered from the hotel where Worthen was found. Chief Woody doesn’t know right now where else Worthen has been in the past year or who may have been helping him.
“Until we get him back here with all of his property and investigate, we can determine that,” Chief Woody said.
Worthen is being held at the Los Angeles County Jail and looks quite different than what he did last June but the Camden Police Department is sure the man is custody is indeed the man they’ve been looking for.
“I did verify that it is him. He still has his distinctive tattoos. He did cover one of them up but he does still have the ones on his body,” Chief Woody said. “He has gained a little weight but it’s definitely him. He has since then said his name was Jory Worthen.”
He is being charged with 2 counts of capital murder and could face more charges.
The Camden PD and US Marshals say they weren’t giving up until this fugitive was found and the family worked nonstop just to make sure this case wasn’t forgotten.
“I was not going to let it die down and let it be a cold case,” mother and grandmother of the victims, Angela Cannon said. “The social media got it out there the most. Me and my friends and family sharing it is what helped get it all out in the country.”
“They’re smiling. They’re dancing. They’re happy,” Cannon said.
Montec Charles-Xavier Wood was arrested in July 2019 for admitting to meeting with Worthen four days after the murder and giving him $400. He was charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution and was sentenced to probation for five years.
In addition to countless social media posts, this case was also featured in a network television series, In Pursuit with John Walsh.
The US Marshals issues a reward of up to $25,000 for anyone with tips that could lead to information. The local community and police department pledged at least $7,000.
Worthen will be held at the LA County Jail until he signs a waiver. Then, officers from CPD will drive there to escort him back to Camden.