Family of slain Vancleave teen speaks out

Family of slain Vancleave teen speaks out
Family mourns slain Vancleave teen. (Photo Source: WLOX News)

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jenny Smith flipped through old photo albums Friday evening, cherishing moments she has shared with her son.

"He was a great kid; his smile and him always getting on to me," said Smith. "He acts like he was my parent."

Smith got a call on Wednesday night that any parent would dread - her son, 16-year-old Cliff Steven Allyn, was missing. Allyn had been living in Vancleave with Smith's mother at the time of his disappearance.

"A lot of people were like, 'He's 16 years old. He probably ran off with a girl, or something.' But he wouldn't do that," Smith said.

Smith describes the 24 hours following the phone call as a frenzy.

"We were just trying to track down his cell phone and contact everyone that he knows," Smith said.

Smith's boyfriend, Delbert Sledge, says he doesn't think the police did enough when they initially learned Allyn was missing.

"Whether it's a 16 year old, a 2 year old, a 5 year old. If they're missing since 2 o'clock in the afternoon and it's almost midnight, you couldn't even walk a few feet out in the woods and look for him?" said Sledge.

There was no Amber Alert issued, and press was not notified of the search. On Thursday afternoon, the worst was confirmed.

"When we got out there, my mom was screaming at the top of her lungs and she couldn't even tell me," said Smith. "I knew then what it was. Then they told me he was out in the woods, buried."

Not long after Allyn's body was found, 19-year-old Dexter Mandoza Kelly, was arrested and charged in Allyn's death.

Kelly is Allyn's first cousin.

"I always told my mom to keep an eye out around him and I didn't want Cliff to hang out with him. But I would never imagine my nephew killing my son," Smith said.

The sheriff's department has not released a cause of death.

"So right now, we don't have a motive. We're still working on the case and we're very into this," said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell. "So, it's just gonna take some time to get through some of the things."

For Smith, the answers can't come soon enough.

Allyn's body will be sent to Jackson for an autopsy.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.