Jackenheimer Family: ‘We Can Finally Breathe’
ASHLAND, Ohio — A nationwide manhunt ended Wednesday with tears of jubilation for the family of 33-year-old Lynn Jackenheimer.
More than five weeks after Nate Summerfield went into hiding, the 27-year-old Ashland man was arrested without incident at a hotel in Medina County.
Summerfield is accused of strangling Jackenheimer, who was his ex-girlfriend, while they were on a family vacation near the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
News of Summerfield’s arrest came as a relief to many in Jackenheimer’s tight-knit community.
“It’s scary because we didn’t know where he was at. We were looking over our shoulders all the time. Now that’s he been caught, we can finally breathe,” said Jackenheimer’s sister, Tara Johnson. “He’s not out there eating and breathing, unlike my sister.”
“I knew he would be caught. There’s too many people looking, he can’t run forever. No one can,” said Jackenheimer’s mother, Lora Johnson.
At a news conference on Wednesday morning, U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said, “Today Ashland County brought Nate Summerfield to justice.”
Although he would not specify what led investigators to the hotel, he said, “We received numerous and countless tips and everything was pieced together that took us to that hotel room.”
Authorities said Summerfield did not resist and was unarmed at the time of his arrest.
“We always keep the element of surprise on our side,” Elliott said. “We did in this case and it worked to our advantage.”
Jackenheimer’s mother said her list of “thank you’s” extends from Ashland to North Carolina.
“Without this community, this might not have happened. It doesn’t make my pain any easier for my daughter but I can rest, so it’s a good day,” Lora Johnson said.
Summerfield will be extradited to North Carolina where he will face a judge.
The U.S. Marshals Service said anyone who assisted Summerfield while he was on the run will face federal charges.