ST. PETERSBURG — Gloria McNeal didn't like her daughter's new boyfriend from the start.
"He was not good enough for my daughter," McNeal said. "This is a street person, a thug, if you will. A drug dealer-type person."
Now McNeal fears her 18-year-old daughter may be on the lam with him. Emanuel Levar McCray, 22, is wanted on a murder charge in connection with a March 28 shooting outside a St. Petersburg motel.
McNeal says she hasn't seen or heard from her daughter, Jonicia McNeal, since Easter. More worrisome, she says, is that Jonicia hasn't updated her MySpace page on the Internet since March 27.
"I'm very, very worried," McNeal, 40, said. "He just committed a homicide and she saw it and now nobody can find either one of them."
Jonicia is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. She has short black hair and a tattoo saying either "Emanuel" or "Manuel" on one of her arms.
McNeal said she isn't sure how her daughter met McCray but that she fell hard for him. She even talked about marrying him.
Police are investigating Jonicia's disappearance.
"We believe Jonicia was a witness to the homicide and we would like to interview her," police spokesman Bill Proffitt said.
Police say witnesses saw McCray and Jason McDonald, 26, arguing in the parking lot of a motel at 275 34th St. S right before the March 28 shooting. McDonald had been staying with someone at the motel, police said.
Police say drugs may have been involved, though other factors may have played a role as well. McCray has a criminal record that includes arrests on firearms and drug-related charges, such as cocaine possession.
"If anybody's seen her, please call the authorities," McNeal said.
Abhi Raghunathan can be reached
or (727) 893-8472.