NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. - The search for a woman missing in Florida has led authorities to possibly uncover what happened to a woman who was reported missing from Butler County in 2004.
According to the Nassau County Sheriff's Office, the main suspect in the disappearance of Joleen Jensen Cummings, 34, is Jennifer Sybert.
Her real name is Kimberly Kessler and she is from Butler.
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Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said Kessler/Sybert had been working as a stylist at Tangles for a month.
During a Tuesday afternoon news conference on the search for Joleen Jensen Cummings, Leeper said his department has evidence that leads members to believe Cummings is not alive.
Cummings, 34, was last seen leaving work at Tangles Hair Salon on May 12, the same salon where Kessler/Sybert works. She was reported missing by her mother, Ann Johnson, on May 14.
Latest from @NCSO_FL in disappearance of Nassau County #Florida mother #JoleenCummings. Deputies have reason to believe Cummings is not alive. CALL deputies if you have any Info. @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/TdgPE4tenO— Tenikka Smith Hughes (@TenikkaANjax) May 22, 2018
What led deputies to Kessler/Sybert
Cummings' ex-husband, Jason Cummings, said she never showed up to pick up her three children on Mother’s Day.
Tangles was closed May 13 and 14 and was due to reopen May 15.
Leeper said detectives showed up May 15 at 10 a.m. to speak with Kessler/Sybert, who was reportedly the last person to see Cummings.
Kessler/Sybert did not show up for work that day and the address where the shop owner said she was supposed to be living was found to be a bogus address, Leeper said.
After Cummings' Ford Expedition was found parked in the Home Depot parking lot in Yulee on May 15, detectives went to nearby businesses seeking surveillance video.
Leeper said investigators found Kessler/Sybert was seen on surveillance video parking Cummings' Ford Expedition around 1:17 a.m. Sunday, May 13.
Sheriff says Jeniffer Sybert was seen on surveillance parking Cummings vehicle, she is a hair stylist at Tangles pic.twitter.com/zLS8XHdEYW— Bridgette Matter (@bridgetteANjax) May 22, 2018
Sybert was then located by investigators on May 16 parked in her 2016 black Kia Soul between two semi-trucks at a rest area in St. Johns County. Leeper said Kessler/Sybert had been living in her car at various locations. She was arrested in St. Johns County and brought back to Nassau County on a charge of grand theft auto.
Deputies say Kimberly Kessler is a suspect in the disappearance of Joleen Cummings. They say there is evidence Cummings is dead. pic.twitter.com/8Wuarwfzc7— Amber Krycka (@AmberANjax) May 22, 2018
Leeper said investigators then found that Sybert's real name is Kimberly Kessler. She is from Butler, Pennsylvania, and her birthday is May 9, 1968. She had been using a fake Social Security number and has been charged by the FBI with a federal offense of possession of a counterfeit passport.
Kessler previously reported missing out of Pennsylvania
Kimberly Kessler, then age 35, was reported missing from Butler County, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 2004.
Leeper confirmed for our sister station Action News Jax that the person they have in custody is the Kimberly Kessler who was reported missing in 2004.
According to pennsylvaniamissing.org, Kessler "disappeared under suspicious circumstances." She also had another listed alias, Pamela Kleber/Kleiber.
Sybert real name is Kimberly Kessler, she is from Pennsylvania and had been working at the Tangles salon for about a month. She was using a fake SS # @ActionNewsJax She is being called a suspect in the Cummings case. pic.twitter.com/J6iuuCLHKi— Bridgette Matter (@bridgetteANjax) May 22, 2018
Pennsylvania residents react to incident
Kessler lived in Butler County 14 years ago when she was reported missing.
Channel 11 knocked on several doors in Pittsburgh and in Butler.
We eventually tracked down the man who bought Kessler's childhood home from her.
"She got accused of stealing from some of the jobs she was at. She lost her job quickly," Glenn Schaffer said.
We also tracked down a couple who had known Kessler as a child. They said Kessler had been a nice kid, but showed her violent streak when she got mad at her brother.
"She wanted to kill him with a bat and I told her, 'Kimberly, you can't do that,'" Maria Mills said.
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Cummings ex-boyfriend was at her home days before her disappearance
Cummings' ex-boyfriend Jason Gee, a person of interest in the case, was arrested on a violation of probation charge on May 15 – the same day Cummings' Expedition was found.
Days before Cummings disappearance, on May 9, deputies responded to a domestic issue involving Gee and Cummings. A neighbor called the Sheriff's Office after she heard loud arguing and things being broken inside Cummings' home.
Gee left before deputies arrived. Cummings told deputies that Gee showed up at her home and wanted to stay, but she asked him to leave.
Gee was found on Tuesday, May 15 hiding under cardboard boxes in a house then arrested.
The search for Cummings continues
The Nassau County Sheriff's Office is continuing to follow up on all leads and gather additional information and evidence as to Kessler’s location and dealings, especially the time between Saturday, May 12 and her arrest. Leeper said she frequented Fernandina Beach, Yulee, the Bartram Park area of Jacksonville, as well as St. Johns County.
Leeper said his office will continue to search for Cummings, but she could be anywhere. Anyone who has seen or had any contact with Kessler/Sybert, her vehicle or has any information that would help in the investigation is asked to contact The Nassau County Sheriff's Office at 904-548-4005 or contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS or 8477.
Anyone who had an appointment at the salon or stopped by the area on May 12 is asked to call detectives.
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