The mother of a Columbia child who went missing in 2011, and whose body has never been found, was recently released from prison after serving about four years of a 10-year sentence.
Zinah Jennings, 27, was convicted of unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person in 2012 in connection with the disappearance of her toddler son, Amir.
On Sept. 30, Jennings was released to the supervised re-entry program, according to the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. Jennings will remain under supervision until March 30, 2017.
Amir Jennings was last seen by his family at Thanksgiving in 2011, when he was 18 months old. He would now be about 6 years old.
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During his mother’s 2012 trial concerning his disappearance, witnesses said they saw Zinah Jennings kick Amir, squeeze him until he cried, leave him unrestrained in a car seat and allow him to wander unsupervised out of a bank’s door. Other testimony indicated that Zinah Jennings had history of drug abuse and excessive drinking.
Jennings and her son first were reported missing in early December 2011 by her mother. On Christmas Eve, Jennings was found when she was involved in a single-car accident in downtown Columbia, but Amir was not with her.
Jennings told law enforcement various stories about the boy being with relatives and friends in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. None checked out.
Prosecutors believed Amir was dead but were unable to produce his body or any evidence that he was no longer living. Amir’s blood was found on a baby blanket in the trunk of Jennings’ car.
Jennings gave birth to a second child, a daughter, in the middle of her 2012 trial.
Jennings was denied parole in May 2014.
Reach Ellis at (803) 771-8307.
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