The Washington Post was able to dig deep and track down the key characters in this twisted tale. They have confirmed that, while the fatal shooting-in-question appears to be fabricated and no one actually jumped off a roof, the general storyline isn't that far off from the real deal.
It turns out Z – whose real name is Akporode Uwedjojevwe, which doesn't even contain the letter "z" — is, in fact, behind bars… but not for murder! Sooooo what did happen in Florida?
Back in March, Jessica Swiatkowski met Zola — AKA Aziah Wells — at Hooters, just like she said. She had recently lost custody of her daughter, Avarella, and was living with her new boyfriend Jarrett Scott and Akporode, a longtime friend who actually went by the name Rudy.
The three of them had already been planning a trip to Tampa because Jessica wanted to make more money for dancing, since the Detroit clubs didn't provide much.
She invited Zola to tag along when she heard that the waitress also danced.
Jarrett claims Rudy was the ring leader behind the whole thing, explaining:
"Rudy was making trips to Florida and back, saying ‘look how much money you can make.' Go work one weekend, make 15 or 20 or $30,000. That was the plan."
So, the gang drove down to the Sunshine State on March 27. Jessica said that once they got there, she and Zola danced at The Tampa Gold Club and 2001 Odyssey.
In her Twitter tale, Zola had alleged that Rudy made a Backpage profile for her so she could solicit sex, which she claims she didn't do. In fact, her account — as well as Jessica's supposed account — still exists.
Jarrett's former flame, however, is adamant that she never did anything other than dance.
According to her side of the story, Zola says Rudy was booking clients for Jessica, but also took her money. While Jessica claims that isn't the case, Jarrett reveals that he was reportedly threatened by their then-roommate multiple times during the trip.
He also admitted that his girlfriend claims she was almost kidnapped at one point. He described an instance in which a client tried to prevent Jessica from leaving his hotel.
However, Jarrett says she was able to make it to the lobby, where he and Rudy had been. He explained that she was crying and saying:
"This guy tried to kidnap me."
But rather than shooting Jessica's alleged kidnapper in the face — like Zola had said — Jarrett revealed that Rudy called the cops instead.
According to authorities, there were no murders, like the one the viral sensation had described, reported in the area at the time.
Since Jarrett and Zola had no way to get home, they were forced to tag along throughout the wild weekend. But, Jessica's boyfriend kept trying to convince her to leave, saying:
"I begged her to stop, but it was like Rudy was controlling her mind or something. He kept saying, 'look at all this money,' or 'I'll get your daughter back.'"
He also claimed that Jessica had struggled with drugs, although she had insisted she had been clean for years.
After a couple days, Jarrett had given up on trying to get his then-girlfriend to leave Florida. According to his Facebook activity from that weekend, he had been posting a lot of negative statuses about relationships.
Rudy provided Jarrett and Zola with enough money to fly back to Detroit, not long before he was arrested in Nevada. He was charged with multiple sex-related counts including sexual assault, battery, two counts of trafficking, and two counts of attempted pandering with threat of physical force.
In fact, a girl named Jessica Lynn Forgie and her friend Breeonna Pella had their own experiences with Rudy and Jessica shortly after the two left Florida.
"This might be long, but I need to get this out there! ✊🏼💯 I'm sick & f*cking tired of people backing Jessica up on the ZOLA story & saying it's a lie. No, it's definitely the DAMN TRUTH & Jessica knows it. She's just mad she got caught. I already know people are going to say I'm all about drama or it's none of my business, but guess what. IT IS MY BUSINESS. She did almost the same thing with me & Breeonna Lee. She lied to us, she told Bree she was a model. So Bree would model with her & I was just along for the ride, but it wasn't anything close to that. Her & "Z" tried to make us do un-namable things & we were lucky to get out when we did. It wasn't just that simple but I'm not going to go into detail… But all I can say is I have to live with what they did too me for the rest of my life. She's a nasty cunt & she needs to be held responsible for her actions just like "Z" is… I have to go too trial for this bullshit that happened in "Vegas". THIS STORY IS MORE THAN REAL 👏🏼🔫"
The girls met Rudy and Jessica in Nevada after their car broke down. They were trying to get home to Michigan, and began posting on social media for help.
Jessica reached out to them, explaining that she was going to be dancing in Reno and invited them to join, since they needed money to get back to the Great Lake State.
The pair didn't initially suspect anything was off about Rudy, but became concerned when he demanded that they make Backpage accounts.
Forgie hadn't danced before, so she stayed behind at the Peppermill hotel. She claims Jessica was staying at a different resort where she was "working" while Breeonna supposedly hid in the bathroom because Rudy had allegedly threatened to "beat her ass" if she didn't meet clients.
Meanwhile, at the Peppermill, Forgie was getting nervous that Rudy was so upset by what was happening at the Atlantis hotel where the other girls were. When she asked if she could leave, he reportedly responded:
"You don't get something for nothing. If you want to go home, you'll have to f*ck your way out."
She claims that he then sexually assaulted her. She managed to escape when he took a call. Police reports show he was arrested hours later.
Officials questioned all three girls, and then a religious anti-trafficking organization called Awaken INC sent them back home. Authorities couldn't confirm or comment on specifics since the investigation is still ongoing.
The brunette shared a sweet photo with her former flame and penned a heartbreaking caption in his memory.
The late sports star's longtime love reflected on their time together, writing:
"My deepest love goes out to those who saw jose as more than an athlete, but as a passionate, raw human being. The heart break is unbearable. There was so much more to him than anyone could even begin to understand. I'm fortunate enough to have loved and be loved by jose, and his family, for over 3 crazy beautiful years."
Miz Mendoza admitted she will always love the 24-year-old, and told her followers to never take moments with their loved ones for granted, adding: