WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised due to the graphic nature of the story.

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — New details from an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) report show the timeline of events leading up to the murder of 8-year-old Navin Jones.

JULY 2021

Navin’s Paternal Grandmother and legal guardian, allowed Navin and his older brother to stay with their biological parents, Stephanie Jones and Brandon Walker, on July 10, 2021, as she needed to address a family emergency in Florida.


When the Paternal Grandmother returned home on or close to Aug. 1, 2021, Jones and Walker refused to return Navin and his older sibling to their Paternal Grandmother.

On Aug. 17, 2021, DCFS received a call from Navin Jones’ Paternal Grandmother, who was the legal guardian of both Navin and his older sibling. The Paternal Grandmother told DCFS she saw the home had trash, clutter, and old food throughout the house.

She clarified that Jones and Walker are the alleged perpetrators and the biological parents of Navin and his older sibling, who are the alleged victims.

The Paternal Grandmother also reported that Jones has a history of drug use and physical aggression toward the children.

According to the report, Paternal Grandmother tried to go to Jones and Walker’s home early that day and Jones “exploded” on her. According to Paternal Grandmother, Jones said that the kids are not coming home, and Paternal Grandmother will never see them again.

In response, the Paternal Grandmother contacted the Peoria Police Department (PPD) to help her bring the children back into her custody. PPD assigned a detective to the case.

DCFS opened an investigation into Allegation #82 Environmental Neglect following the Paternal Grandmother’s report.


The grandmother told CPS she had not seen or heard from her son or his children as of Oct. 14. CPS later attempted to make contact with the children at an address in Peoria that same day.

Later that day, Walker told CPS he was living in Florida with Stephanie, Navin and the brother. Walker refused to provide an address and said they were planning to return to Illinois on Oct. 21 for the children’s doctor’s appointment. He said CPS would see the children then.

The next day, Oct. 15, CPS spoke with staff at the doctor’s office, who confirmed there was no such appointment scheduled for either child. Staff reported that the brother was last seen on June 30, and Navin was last seen on Dec. 30, 2019. There were no concerns from the doctor’s office at those times.

On Oct. 20, CPS contacted Florida child protection and submitted a request for Florida records involving the family. The next day, a search for Navin and his brother was completed.

On the 26th, CPS received confirmation from Florida Child Protection that the family had no history of child abuse or neglect in Florida.


The investigation was closed and determined to be unfounded on Nov. 3, 2021.


DCFS opened another investigation on Valentine’s Day of 2022 after receiving an anonymous report on the hotline. The caller reported the children were not in school, dirty, and the older sibling was going to work with Walker every day.

The reporter also said they were told Navin had fallen down the stairs and had black and blue eyes, and that they were told Navin was in trouble for getting up in the middle of the night and eating chicken Stephanie had previously cooked for the dogs.

Walker was accused of talking down to the older sibling and calling him names, and the caller said the older sibling allegedly told them that when Jones did not want to deal with Navin, she would physically lock him in the basement.

Based on that report, DCFS opened an investigation by contacting local schools to verify the boys were not attending any school in the Peoria District. CPS requested police records and spoke with CPS, which was assigned to investigate in August 2021.

On Feb. 15, CPS attempted to contact Navin and the sibling, but there was no answer at the door. Walker called CPS back the same day and denied any harm to the children. He told CPS the children were not in school because he and Jones did not have legal guardianship.

Walker told CPS the family returned from Florida in January and had not been able to re-establish guardianship since. Walker admitted he took the older boy with him to work because the older boy liked it, and it gave him something to do during the day. An appointment was then made for CPS to visit the family and children on Feb. 18.

DCFS received a call via the hotline on Feb. 16 from a caller who said Walker admitted DCFS came to the door, but they did not let them see Navin because he was, “all banged up” after falling down the stairs.

An attempt was made by DCFS on Feb. 17 to speak with Jones and Walker, but no one answered the door. The next day, there was no answer at the door when CPS arrived for the scheduled appointment.

Walker later said it was because he forgot, and a new appointment was scheduled for Feb. 22.


On Feb. 22, Navin and his brother were seen and interviewed in their home. They reported feeling safe and said no one was hurting them or locking them up.

However, Navin was reported to be “sickly” in appearance, and CPS noted he was thin and small in stature. Navin said he was eating regularly, and there were snacks present in his room.

The “pick marks” on his skin were explained by Navin as his own doing, saying he often picks his skin because it itches. These marks were photographed by CPS.

The CPS supervisor said Navin did not have black eyes, but he was photographed anyway.

The supervisor said they were concerned about Navin being so small, but both Walker and Jones said he ate regularly but did not gain weight. When the supervisor suggested Navin may have a medical issue, the parents said they could not take Navin to the doctor, despite wanting to, because they did not have legal guardianship.

The pair asked for help getting guardianship, so they could take the children to the doctor and enroll them in school. CPS agreed to help.

Navin and his brother were assessed as safe by CPS pursuant to the Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol. This decision was discussed with the investigation supervisor following the visit.

The next day, CPS spoke with a Lutheran Social Services of Illinois caseworker (LSSICW) who received a welfare referral for the family. The caseworker said they spoke with the parents about concerns regarding Navin, and was told Navin had issues with playing with feces and that Jones had not fully disclosed issues concerning Navin to CPS during the visit because she did not want to embarrass her son.

MARCH 2022

March 2, CPS spoke with the grandmother, who was frustrated that the police did not assist her in getting the children back when she tried in the fall of 2021. She said she did not want any relationship with her son, Walker, and stated she wanted nothing more to do with the family.

She said her son was not stable and cursed at Navin and the brother. CPS asked her to sign short-term guardianship paperwork. She agreed.

The next day, CPS spoke with Walker about the paperwork. He reported that his sons were doing well and was offered counseling services from CPS.

March 14, the grandmother signed the paperwork, and on March 29, it was sent to DCFS. CPS intended to have Jones and Walker sign the form as well.

Later that day, DCFS received a report Navin had been found unresponsive by his mother at their home. After calling 911 and being transported to the hospital, he was pronounced dead just before 8 p.m.

Police noted he had ligature marks, sores on his back, and that there were piles of urine-soaked sheets in his room.

At the time of his death, Navin weighed 38 pounds and was 72 degrees when he arrived at the hospital.

The full report can be read below: