Longform

Jason John McGee

It's fitting that Jason McGee, a senior account executive in the New Times classified department, spent the week before his October 19 murder on a family vacation with his mother, grandmother, and his two young children. By all accounts McGee doted on his three-year-old daughter Molly and two-year-old son Liam. “He loved and cared for his children more than any man I've ever seen,” says Gavin Brown, a co-worker.

The widely shared belief among classified department employees that Liam looked exactly like his dad must have pleased him. Raised solely by his mother, 25-year-old McGee wanted to play a role in his kids' lives in a way that his own father hadn't in his.

An only child born in Corona, California, McGee and his mother moved several times before coming to Miami when he was fifteen years old. After finishing high school, eager to see the world, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he worked as a helmsman aboard the USS George Washington. Shortly after his two-year stint ended, he returned to South Florida and took a job at an advertising agency. Soon he met Cristina Sierra, who would become the mother of his children. After a few years, the couple parted ways. They were involved in a custody dispute at the time of McGee's death.

In 1997 McGee joined the New Times classified sales staff and won over his colleagues with a generosity of spirit, a positive attitude, and a self-deprecating sense of humor. “He was always cheerful, and everybody got along with him,” remembers co-worker Gino Saumat. When the staff needed someone to pose as homeless for a real estate advertisement, McGee gamely obliged, sitting forlornly on a piece of cardboard while holding his head in his hands.

McGee's co-workers, who knew him as Jay, describe a laid-back young man who enjoyed carousing with friends. He took his Irish heritage seriously. For Halloween this year he joked about dressing as an Irish superhero named Captain Guinness. His life was cut short before he could fulfill his dream of visiting the Emerald Isle.

Early this week Miami police were still searching for 33-year-old Tony Ellis Cabble in their quest to solve McGee's murder. Although not identified as a suspect, police believe Cabble was the last to see McGee alive. This past Monday family and friends held a memorial service for McGee. New Times is in the process of establishing a trust fund for McGee's children. For information call 305-571-7586.

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Jacob Bernstein
Contact: Jacob Bernstein