Remains found in river identified as missing man; girl now charged with murder

Jalen Braden and Baba Said

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Human remains that were located at the Riverside Marina earlier this month have been positively identified by Memphis police and a second suspect has been charged with murder.

The bones were positively identified as 20-year-old Baba Said.

Authorities said a 15-year-old girl has been charged with first-degree murder in perpetration of a robbery, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Jalen Braden, 25, was charged in the case in July after investigators say they found a blood-stained couch outside his home.

On Oct. 6, officers were called to the marina in Martin Luther King Jr. Riverside Park, where a boater told them he found the remains. By that evening, police said the remains had been verified as human.

Said’s case is one that WREG covered in July 2019.

According to police, Said was last seen leaving the 1300 block of East Raines Road at 1 p.m. on July 3 in a 2005 black Honda Accord. That vehicle was found abandoned on the interstate the next day, prompting police to open a missing persons case.

Authorities issued an alert to the media about Said’s disappearance on July 5, stating he may be with a 15-year-old runaway. At the time, they said both individuals may be in danger.

The next day, that juvenile turned herself in to police. She claimed that she met Said at a home on Amarillo Street and that he had tried to kidnap her. She fled from his vehicle and called her friend Jalen Braden to pick her up.

Authorities noted that Braden lived at that home on Amarillo Street.

On July 9, officers with the Missing Persons Bureau went to Braden’s home where they discovered that a couch with blood stained cushions had been moved to the curb. Inside the home, investigators found a cleaning rag and a bottle of bleach along with additional blood spots in the living room.

Foul play was suspected and additional officers were called to the scene.

When questioned by authorities, Braden admitted that he and the juvenile lured Said to the house to rob him. He took Said’s money and car keys before shooting him once in the back of the head. Braden stated he then wrapped the victim in black garbage bags and threw him in a ditch near Goodman Street and Healey Avenue.

Authorities have not identified the 15-year-old suspect.

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