ASHLAND, Ohio – Friends and relatives of Lynn Jackenheimer, 33, spent another agonizing day Tuesday waiting for any trace of her, or of the boyfriend who told a relative he strangled her while on a vacation in North Carolina.
Investigators are still searching for a dark gray metallic 2009 Honda Civic with Ohio license plate FMV 7540 that they believe Nate Summerfield, 27 is driving.
Summerfield and Jackenheimer went on a vacation with her two children, a girl, 13, and boy, 3.
On Sunday, Summerfield returned with the children but not with Jackenheimer. He reportedly told his brother that he had strangled the woman while they were in North Carolina and left her there.
Summerfield then left without telling anyone where he was going, withdrew money from an ATM, ditched his cell phone along a road in Ashland County and vanished.
As of late Tuesday investigators in Ashland said that they still had no solid evidence that a crime had actually been committed.
“It's hard, the longer it goes the worse it is” said Ashland Sheriff’s Department Captain Carl Richert, adding “It’s frustrating for us because we are trying to do everything we can.
Local businesses were trying to offer incentive for anyone who might help with the investigation to come forward, offering a collective reward of at least $4,000.
Dean Emmons of the Beer Barrel in Ashland said Jackenheimer works for him but did not report for her shift on Monday. He offered to put up $1,000 of his own money as a reward for information that would help find Jackenheimer and Summerfield.
He was joined by at least three others as of Tuesday afternoon.
Emmons said even if they are never found the money would be paid into a trust fund for Jackenheimer’s children.
Richert said the children have been interviewed but were not able to help much with the investigation. Authorities hoped they could help them put together a timeline of what happened while they were in North Carolina, but there appears to be more questions than answers.
“The kids weren’t a lot of help because they were basically kept in the dark about a lot of things; told mommy would be at home, that probably settled them down until they got home,” said Richert.
“Keep in mind this is a 3-year-old and 13-year-old that wasn’t told anything, so it’s hard to get anything out of somebody who doesn’t know anything,” he added.
Relatives of Jackenheimer say the children do understand their mother is missing.
“This morning they asked us to go find mommy for them,” said Raymond Johnson, Jackenheimer’s step-father on Tuesday. “[The 3-year-old], got up this morning wanting us to go find mommy for him. He sits and cries wanting his mommy. Give her back to him, would you please do the right thing Nate?” added Johnson.
Court records, meanwhile, provide some details of a violent past between the couple.
An arrest warrant and affidavit for a temporary restraining order in December 2009 detail an argument in which Summerfield grabbed Jackenheimer “by her throat and choked her. Then he pulled her to the floor and dragged her from the kitchen into the living room, then into the hallway by her neck.”
The documents say “Lynn had red marks on her neck and scrapes on her forearms from trying to stop herself while Nathan was dragging her from room to room.”
In hand written notes for the temporary restraining order they quote Jackenheimer as saying she is scared of the defendant “she said ‘it’s hard telling what he would do to me.’”
As of Tuesday there remained no solid evidence of any crime, although authorities’ acknowledge that the longer time passes the more troubling the case becomes.
“We sure absolutely need the public's help,” said Richert, adding “the more eyes we have out there to locate him or her is what we need and again I’m hoping for a good resolution that she comes walking into Ashland county and says hey I’m fine and then it’s all over.”