The Disappearance of Keeshae Jacobs

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EARLY LIFE:

Keeshae Jacobs was born on January 1, 1995. From the Westover neighbourhood of Richmond, Virginia, she lived with her mother, Toni, and her older brother, Deavon.

Growing up, the family of three was extremely close. To make ends meet, Toni worked a variety of customer service jobs. For the kids’ birthdays, she would take them to the Kings Dominion amusement park in Doswell, Virginia. As well, the family would make regular trips to the beach and to visit relatives.

Keeshae adored her family. She would often confide in her mother about boys and other things that were happening in her life, and the pair would often spend their time going to the mall, watching horror movies and communicating via cellphone throughout the day. She also deeply loved her brother.

While in elementary and middle school, Keeshae was a cheerleader and her mother coached the squad. Through cheerleading and school, she gained a group of friends whom she was incredibly loyal to, sometimes to a fault. While tough, she had a sensitive side and always ensured her friends had smiles on their faces.

Upon graduating high school, Keeshae remained at her mother’s house while she figured out what she wanted to do with her life. Not one to like going out to the bar or club, she filled her time working various jobs. She took pride in the money she earned, as she didn’t like asking others for money.

LEAD UP TO DISAPPEARANCE:

On the night of September 26, 2016, Keeshae texted her mother to let her know she would be spending the night with a friend and would contact her the next morning. As she was 21-years-old, Toni didn’t ask her daughter who she was staying with, not wanting to pry.

Keeshae was later dropped off by her friends at a house in the 3100 block of east Broad Street, located in the Church Hill district of Richmond. The area is near Chimborazo Park.

DISAPPEARANCE:

While at her job as a dispatcher on September 27, Toni awaited a phone call from her daughter, letting her know she’d gotten home safely. Normally, Keeshae would call during Toni’s lunch break, which usually fell between 11:00am and 12:00pm. However, no call came. Worried, she called Keeshae’s cellphone, but it went straight to voicemail. She then call Deavon, who told her the last time he’d spoken to his sister was the previous night.

When Toni returned home that evening, she noticed Keeshae still wasn’t there. Worried, she called her daughter’s friends and visited their houses, but there was no sign of her.

Around 2:00am on September 28, after speaking with her sister, Toni contacted the Richmond Police Department to report Keeshae as missing, citing it was uncharacteristic for her daughter to leave without notice.

SEARCH:

The beginning of the search for Keeshae involved her friends and Toni going door-to-door in her neighbourhood, asking if anyone had seen her. It was during this search that Toni was informed that her daughter’s friends had been with Keeshae the night she disappeared, something they’d previously denied. When pushed for information, they explained that they’d dropped her off in Church Hill to meet someone, about 10 minutes from her house. However, they did not know who the person was.

One specific friend, Demarcus Hunt, shared that he was the one who drove her to the unknown male’s house. He was under the impression that Keeshae would be meeting a mutual female friend there, which he claimed was later confirmed upon receiving a text from said friend. However, the was disputed by the female friend upon her being questioned by police, with her claiming to have never sent the text.

After talking to Demarcus, Toni drove to the man’s house, where he offered up numerous accounts about the night of September 26. While he admitted to knowing Keeshae and seeing her that night, he claimed she had called for a ride not long after arriving and left. Toni then called the police, who searched the house, but were unable to find any signs of Keeshae.

Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, the identities of the female friend and unknown male have not been publicly released.

Upon discovering Keeshae’s last known location, investigators got to work searching the Church Hill area, which they did multiple times. They canvassed the area and handed out flyers.

A look into Keeshae’s cellphone records showed it had been off since the night of her disappearance. As well, her bank account remained untouched, and her email and Facebook account were inactive. Investigators have yet to recover her cellphone, ID or the overnight bag she brought with her that night.

In order to help bring in new leads, her family and friends raised $3,000 for a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in her disappearance.

There have been numerous reported sightings of Keeshae, but nothing investigators have been able to verify. However, they believe she didn’t run away or move to another state.

Throughout the search for her daughter, Toni has been subjected to numerous prank phone calls and fake social media messages, all from people claiming to either be Keeshae or know where she is. Both Toni and those investigating the case have said precious time has been wasted looking into these fake leads.

People have also lied to store owners in the Richmond area, saying Keeshae has been found and asking them to remove her flyers from their storefronts.

In January 2017, tragedy struck Toni again when Deavon was murdered. The 25-year-old had been gunned down outside a local Motel 6. The man who shot him, James Henshaw, was put on trial and a jury found him guilty of second degree murder.

It is not believed Deavon’s murder is connected to Keeshae’s disappearance.

In 2018, an unidentified source claimed there is a man who has knowledge about the case and Keeshae’s disappearance. He is currently serving time in prison for a violent crime against another woman. Specifically, the source said the prisoner has knowledge about Keeshae’s whereabouts. However, it’s unknown if he has spoken with investigators at this time.

The Richmond Police Department says the case is currently at a standstill. Investigators believe there are people living in the East End – specifically in the Broad Street corridor – who have information that could help bring this case to a close.

THEORIES:

1) The only theory currently held in this case is that of investigators, who believe Keeshae met with some form of foul play on the night she went missing. While they have not stated why they think this, it is important to note that there has been no indication that the missing woman was involved in drugs or any form of illegal activity.

AFTERMATH:

Toni is of the belief that her daughter is still alive and she continues to hold out hope that she’ll one day return home. The family created the Help Find Keeshae Jacobs Facebook page to help keep the case in the public eye.

Toni is currently working toward her Associate’s Degree in Human Services at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond. She recently accepted her certificate in Substance Abuse Counselling, a program both her children had pushed her to sign up for back in 2015.

Toni credits the Richmond Police Department and the Richmond community for helping her make it through both Keeshae’s disappearance and Deavon’s murder. She regularly visits Maury Street Cemetery, where her son is buried.

On the anniversary of Keeshae’s disappearance, her family releases blue balloons as a memorial event. They have also held rallies, with one being held not far from the house where she was last seen.

Through her daughter’s disappearance, Toni has become an advocate for families who have lost loved ones. She partnered with the Richmond Police Department and the city’s mayor, Levar Stoney, to mark Missing Persons Day each April.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Keeshae Jacobs went missing from Richmond, Virginia, from the 3100 block of east Broad Street, on September 26, 2016. She was 21 years old and was last seen wearing pink and black Nike basketball sneakers, a pink head scarf and black basketball shorts. She could have also possibly been wearing a silver Pandora bracelet with a “Vegas” charm. At the time of her disappearance, she stood between 5’0″ and 5’3″ and weighed approximately 100 to 110 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes, and has the following tattoos: a rose on her shoulder, paw prints on her right thigh, a flower on her right wrist, “Toni” beneath a heart on her left shoulder and a leaf on her right foot. Her ears are pierced and her fingernails were painted blue.

Currently, her case is classified as endangered missing. If alive, she would be 24 years old.

If you have any information regarding the case, you can contact the Richmond Police Department at 804-646-5125 or Crime Stoppers at 1-804-780-1000.

Image Credit: NBC News

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