Prized awards stolen from apartment of late filmmaker

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

AKRON, Ohio - Paul Jacoway, 55, was an accomplished filmmaker, a graduate of Kenmore High School in Akron, Kent State University and graduate school at the University of Akron, where he had been teaching as a visiting professor.

Jacoway died unexpectedly on March 9th of natural causes, his death leaving a tremendous void for those closest to him.

"Whenever you lose someone you are very very close to you go through a whole range of emotions and he was just so happy the week before," said University of Akron Professor Kathleen Endres.

Endres worked with Jacoway on a documentary called "Final Edition" for which he earned an Emmy and a Telly award, one of three Telly's he was awarded for his work.

In his Akron apartment he also displayed several gold records he had been given during his work with Columbia Records.

"They were priceless to him. His apartment was decorated with two things, music and his film-making.  His awards would have been the center of those things," said his long time girlfriend Jennifer Somerville.

Somerville was there with Jacoway's brother and sister five days after he died, when she said they noticed that some of his prized belongings were missing. She called the police.

"The family noticed when they were at the house on the 14th that there were some things missing from the apartment. Some of them were Emmy awards that the deceased had received as well as some gold records one belonged to Tina Turner another to Corey Hart," said Akron Police Lieutenant Rick Edwards.

Also missing, according to police reports, are Jacoway's bicycle, some clothing and two computers on which he stored his interviews and projects: his life's work.

"It is absolutely his life's work. He not only died this week, he was erased when somebody took everything that was important to paul," said Somerville.

Police say there was no sign of forced entry to the apartment. Whoever took the items is believed to have entered with a key.

Building manager Joe Juengel says that narrows the list to only a very small number of people.

"I really didn't see him with too many people," said Juengel who described Jacoway as very friendly, but someone who kept to himself, even asking that his name not appear on the apartment building's registry inside the front door.

"It's pretty sad, you know, his funeral was yesterday and his girlfriend couldn't even put his awards at his ceremony, you know, celebrating his life," said Juengle.

"I'm hoping that it will all come back," said Endres, adding, "I think Jen (Somerville) would so want that and his family would so want that. It's an important thing and whoever took it they probably don't even realize how important that is to his family and friends and especially Jen."

"The awards, the albums they all have his name.  It's more of a sentimental value towards the family than anything else. You couldn't just go and sell the stuff on the street. No one would buy it," said Juengle.

Juengle says he is sharing surveillance video with police.  The video should show everyone who entered and left the building during the time that Jacoway's property disappeared.