WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Just days after the remains of a missing Lycoming County woman were found in a Philadelphia storage unit, a family member of the victim is speaking out. Police say Brenda Jacobs was killed in 2003 in Montoursville, although she wasn’t declared missing until 2013.
Brenda Jacobs’ family is speaking out about her disappearance. Most importantly, why they say she wasn’t reported missing until 10 years after her alleged murder.
“Brenda was the type of woman that no matter what was going on, she always made contact with the kids,” a family member said.
Jacobs’ family member, who did not want to appear on camera, says that contact ended in late December 2003.
“Suspicions were being raised,” the family member said.
It isn’t until 16 years later the suspicions could be answered. Jacobs’ remains were recovered in Philadelphia this week. Her accused killer, Jade Babcock arrested.
“Relief! You have your theories. This and that. Now you have an answer. The kids have the answer,” the family member said.
Back in 2003, the search for an answer was not there. The family member says Jacobs was a great person, but became familiar with the Lycoming County court system. According to court paperwork, in 2002 she allegedly wrote several bad checks totaling nearly $2,000.
She wasn’t charged with the crime until March 2003. The case got dragged out until December of that year. Not showing up for court, a Lycoming County judge issued a bench warrant in early 2004, the same time the family tried to report Jacobs missing. According to the family member, the Williamsport Police Department would not list her as a missing person because of her criminal background.
“They’re looking at her as a fugitive, hiding from authorities, so they are not going to waste resources. If they probably would have done it within the first couple of months, I think this case would have been put to bed 16 years ago,” the family member said.
The Williamsport police chief says he does not know the circumstances of what happened 16 years ago, but says a person can be considered missing if he or she has an arrest or a bench warrant.
Jacobs’ bench warrant is still active today and remains in the Lycoming County Courthouse.