Former Marine Accused Of Murdering 16-Year-Old Girl He Met Online

Deputies found Josephine Jimenez’s body in a field days after family reported her missing.

Cody Slayton [via Madera County Department of Corrections]

Cody Slayton [via Madera County Department of Corrections]

Cody Slayton [via Madera County Department of Corrections]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Authorities in Central California have charged a former Marine with first-degree murder after he allegedly met a teenage girl he chatted with online and killed her.

According to the Madera County Sheriff's Office, Codi Slayton, 19, used social media to communicate with 16-year-old Josephine Jimenez, who disappeared from her home in mid-October and was found dead in a field over a week later.

"This seems to be something more along the line of online predator. So, my guess is somehow he had a method to contact her, as most predators do,” Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney said at a Jan. 16 press conference, Fresno’s KFSN-TV reported.

He added Slayton and Jimenez “struck up some kind of conversation and then the resulting crime occurred at some point after that.”

Slayton reportedly became a suspect in the case after the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigated him on an independent matter in December. NCIS alerted Madera County detectives that Slayton may be involved in Jimenez’s death.

“During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Slayton used various social media applications to generate and maintain communication not only with Josephine, but with young girls throughout California, and possibly other regions of the United States,” the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Slayton is currently incarcerated at the Madera County Department of Corrections on a $1 million bond.

"We are still mourning the loss of our daughter Josephine and look forward for Justice for Josephine,” the late teen’s family told KFSN-TV in a statement.

The sheriff’s office urges anyone who may have had online communication with Slayton to contact Det. Cpl. Noland (559) 232-8753, Det. Gutierrez (559) 514-5869, or the Valley Crime Stoppers (559) 498-STOP (7867). Tips can also be emailed to

Read more: ABC News

Next Up

True Crime News Roundup: Prince Andrew Stripped Of Military Titles After Judge Allows Sex Abuse Case To Proceed

Plus: A Chicago mother is arrested in connection to the murder of her 6-year-old son; the convicted killer Robert Durst dies at age 78; Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ sentencing date is set; and an LGBTQ+ rights movement hero is found dead in a Florida landfill.

Mother Who Claimed 7-Year-Old Daughter Was Sick Sentenced To Prison After Girl Dies

“This is a despicable crime,” prosecutor says of Kelly Renee Turner approving “surgery after surgery” for the child.

The Twists And Turns Of The Infamous Susan Smith Case

On October 25, 1994, the 23-year-old South Carolina mother drowned her two young children.

‘Freckle-Faced’ Killer Who Was 13 When He Murdered 4-Year-Old Boy in 1993 Granted Parole

“When I had seen him, the first thought I had was I want to hurt him,” Eric M. Smith recently said of his victim, Derrick Robie.

5 Key Facts About The Jessica Chambers Murder Case

Jessica Chambers suffered an agonizing death: Firefighters saw her walking toward them, wearing only her underwear & burned over 93 percent of her body.

Florida Teen Sentenced To Life For Murder Of 13-Year-Old Classmate Stabbed 114 Times

Aiden Fucci allegedly told people “he was going to kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them,” authorities said.

How West Memphis Three Case, Damien Echols Inspired ‘Stranger Things’ Character

The show’s executive producer says exploring 1980s “satanic panic” led to the creation of “true nerd at heart” Eddie Munson.

True Crime News Roundup: Former NFL Player Indicted For Murdering Girlfriend, Prosecutors Say

Plus: Maryland woman allegedly shoots her husband after he’s accused of sexually abusing children; hit-and-run driver kills man who had plans to propose; police determine what happened to slain Rhode Island couple; three school employees indicted in connection with autistic student’s death.

Navajo Nation Girl Assaulted, Killed After Man Kidnapped Her While She Was Playing

Tom Begaye Jr. left the 11-year-old child to die in the desert after “repeatedly hitting her on the head and face with a tire iron.”

‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’ And FBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Michael Pratt Captured

On Dec. 23, the FBI confirmed they captured fugitive Michael Pratt in Spain. Pratt was arrested in connection with the operation of the GirlsDoPorn adult website.