Owens charged with killing Zebb Quinn

FILE - It's been more than 17 years since Asheville teen Zebb Quinn vanished. Quinn’s disappearance and the search for him still have locals talking and speculating.

A Buncombe County Grand Jury on Monday indicted Robert Jason Owens with first-degree murder in the death of Zebb Wayne Quinn on Jan. 2, 2000.

RELATED | Plenty of unanswered questions remain after Owens plea in Codd case

Owens is in custody and serving an active prison sentence for the murders of Cristie and JT Codd and their unborn child.

RELATED | Owens pleads guilty in Codd family murders

The Quinn disappearance has been a mystery for more than 17 years.

A release from the Asheville Police Department claimed one of the longest standing cold cases could be a step closer to being solved.

The last sighting of Quinn was on a surveillance camera at a convenience store on Hendersonville Road ... it was Jan. 2, 2000. He was 18-years-old.

Two weeks after Quinn's disappearance, his car was located outside Little Pigs Barbeque near Asheville High. A puppy was found inside and lips were drawn on the rear window of the car.

Years went by, police investigators chasing leads and running into dead ends.

In 2007, there was a possible break when search warrants were executed on a piece of property in Leicester. It was where Owens lived. He was named a person of interest in what was no longer being called a missing person case. Authorities were now calling it a homicide. But no arrest was made.

Then some eight years later, the Codds disappeared. They lived right down the road from Owens in Leicester.

That property was searched again by Buncombe County Sheriff's deputies and Asheville police detectives. And Owens was charged in in the killings of the Codds. Warrants indicate he admitted to the killings two days later. He eventually agreed to a plea deal in return for a life prison sentence instead of the death penalty.

One of the attorneys who represented Owens in the Codd said she was not surprised by the indictment.

"I'm not totally surprised by it, because, certainly, I've known that Jason Owens has been the only suspect that they considered, I guess, for the past 17 years," Victoria Jayne said.

"Now, I'm surprised to hear that after all of this time, with no more information than, apparently, that they had 17 years ago, that they have charged Jason Owens. That disappoints me."

Jayne, an assistant capital defender, said it was frustrating that throughout the course of the Codd trial no information about the Quinn case was ever shared by investigators or the district attorney. She said it was requested, but then the plea deal made it unnecessary.

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