Teen person of interest in grandmother's death denies involvement, lawyer says

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WATCH 9th-grader in custody is person of interest in grandmother's death

The Florida teen held in Buffalo, New York, and considered a person of interest in the death of his grandmother is a good student, is well liked by his classmates and has no criminal history, the lawyer representing him says.

Logan Mott, 15, who was reported missing earlier this week, was detained Friday night by U.S. Customs and Border Protection trying to enter Canada near Buffalo, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Friday night.

"He adamantly denies any involvement in his grandmother's death, and he's very upset about it," said Dominic Saraceno, a lawyer hired by Mott's family. Saraceno said he spoke to Mott at the Erie County Youth Services Center, the detention center where he is being held on a grand theft auto warrant.

PHOTO: Logan Mott in an undated photo provided by the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office. The teen was captured Nov. 24, 2017 trying to enter Canada following the discovery of his grandmother in a shallow grave at his Florida home.Jacksonville Sheriffs Office
Logan Mott in an undated photo provided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The teen was captured Nov. 24, 2017 trying to enter Canada following the discovery of his grandmother in a shallow grave at his Florida home.

"My understanding is he has no history of crime, he's a ninth-grade student, he's a good student, he's well liked by his classmates, and the only type of medication that he is on is for juvenile diabetes," Saraceno said.

Mott was named a person of interest in the death of his grandmother, Kristina French, 53, after Florida police found on Friday afternoon what they believe is her body in a shallow grave in the backyard of her son Eric Mott's home in Neptune Beach, where Logan Mott also lives.

Officers with Customs and Border Protection encountered Logan Mott driving a 2015 Dodge Dart around 7 p.m. Friday at the Peace Bridge near the center of downtown Buffalo after he made a wrong turn onto the bridge. The officers took him into custody "without incident" after a primary inspection revealed he was the subject of a warrant for grand theft auto in Florida, according to CBP public affairs liaison Aaron Bowker.

After confirming the warrant with the Neptune Beach Police Department, the officers were advised that Mott was also a person of interest in a murder investigation in Jacksonville. He was subsequently held by the Buffalo Police Department on the grand theft auto warrant, Bowker said.

Buffalo police said that seven investigators from Neptune Beach were in Buffalo today searching the vehicle that Mott had been driving.

As of Sunday evening, he had not been charged in the death of his grandmother, according to Buffalo police.

His mother, Carrie Campbell-Mott, Saraceno said, does not believe the teen killed his grandmother.

"His mom is understandably very concerned," Saraceno said. "She does believe that he is not responsible, that he couldn't be capable of that type of crime."

Mott and his grandmother were reported missing Wednesday, when Eric Mott returned home from vacation to find his son and mother gone and their home ransacked, police said.

The father, a corrections officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, also said several guns were missing from the home, ABC affiliate WJXX reported.

Police found signs of foul play, and French's silver Dodge Dart was missing, which led to Logan Mott's being wanted for the auto theft charge.

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