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Detective in Makia Coney's Murder Named JSO Police Officer of the Year

6:11 PM, Jan 13, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Detective Bobby Bowers, one of the lead investigators in 17-year-old Makia Coney's death, was honored today for getting the two teens who killed her to confess.

Bowers has worked at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for 15 years. He works a lot of homicide cases, but said there was something about Coney's death that really pulled at his heart.

"It was an emotional case for me. I have her picture still on my desk," he said.

He is modest about his work in the investigation, but said he got Conner Pridgen and Charles Southern to admit they killed their 17-year-old University Christian classmate.

"It was a matter of actually going into the room with both of them, putting them together and having them confront each other and one slipped," said Bowers.

He said a lot of people think Pridgen and Southern just walked into the police station and confessed. "That's not what happened," he said.

Bowers said after hours of interviewing Coney's classmates at University Christian, he began zeroing in on Pridgen and Southern. After interrogating them separately then together, Bowers said they confessed.

After the confession, Bowers worked tirelessly for months compiling more interviews.

"It was non-stop," he said. 

His commitment to the case did not go unnoticed: Bowers was named the 2011 Police Officer of the Year, but is humble about his award and just thankful justice was served.

"It doesn't bring her [Coney] back and it doesn't heal the hurt for the family, but it gives them some closure," he said. 

First Coast News

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