Mona Nelson Arrested for Murder of 12-Year-Old Jonathan Foster

Mona Nelson, 44, has been charged with capital murder.

ByABC News
December 30, 2010, 11:38 AM

Dec. 30, 2010 — -- Relatives of the fifth grade boy who was found dead and burned beyond recognition say that they have no idea who the woman is that police have charged with the child's murder.

Mona Nelson is "an acquaintance" of the family of Texas fifth grader Jonathan Foster, whose body was found Monday in a Houston ditch, police said.

Nelson, 44, has been charged with capital murder and is being held without bond. According to ABC News' Houston affiliate KTRK, Nelson did not appear at a court hearing this morning because of an "unspecified medical issue."

Late Wednesday, the severely burned body was finally identified as that of Jonathan Foster, the 12-year-old boy who vanished on Christmas Eve. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

"Nelson has given what investigators say is a self-serving statement that places her with Jonathan, but she has not admitted to killing him," said Houston Police Department spokesman Kese Smith.

Smith said that Nelson is the only suspect in the case.

Police also said their search for Jonathan was delayed by several days because the boy's mother, Angela Davis, and stepfather, David Davis, originally gave cops conflicting information.

Nelson is believed to be the woman who the mother claims answered the phone at her home on Christmas Eve, a chilling call that had authorities concerned for Foster's safety.

Mary Gifford, the boy's grandmother, said that when her daughter called her son back on Friday, a woman she did not know picked up the phone.

"My daughter asked to speak with her son, and then the woman asked [Jonathan] if Angela was his mother," said Gifford. "He said, 'Yes ma'am, Angela is my mother,' and then the phone went dead."

Gifford, who had been holding out hope that her grandson would be found alive, told today that she's devastated.

"I'm trying to hang in there, but what would be going through your mind if this happened to your child?" she said. "I keep thinking 'Why did she do it? Did she torture him? Why didn't she just let him come home?"

Gifford said she didn't know Nelson and that she wasn't sure if her daughter knew her either.