Reaction to news of remains identified as missing Montoursville woman Brenda Jacobs

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MONTOURSVILLE, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Update: 9/18/19 3:44 pm — Lycoming County’s District Attorney’s Office is expected to file homicide charges against Jade Gillette Babcock, 49, of Philadelphia, after his confession to the murder of Brenda L. Jacobs, a Montoursville woman who has been missing since 2003.


A missing person case from 2003 takes a major step toward closure.

Remains were found and an arrest has been made in connection with the case. A family member through out affiliate WCAU tells Eyewitness News that Pennsylvania State Police have identified remains found in a Philadelphia storage unit facility as Brenda Jacobs.

Jacobs went missing in 2003. Tuesday, Jade Babcock of Montoursville was brought in for questioning and remains in Pennsylvania State Police custody. Eyewitness News spoke with the suspect’s neighbors as the story unfolded.

“When the forensics and state police and everybody was there, we were trying to figure out, wasn’t quite sure what was going on. Then we kind of figured it out,” neighbor Cathie Gilbert said.

Gilbert lives just two doors down from the suspect in the Brenda Jacobs case and detectives’ presence on the property Monday was a sign her neighbor was in some kind of trouble.

“Some of the neighbors and us were talking after the detectives talked to us and we were guessing, trying to figure it out. I think we would all like to know what exactly happened for sure,” Gilbert said.

Suspect Jade Babcock has been in and out of prison for some time,
Gilbert adds. She wonders just how many questions detectives will answer with their search. Questions she and her neighbors are asking as well.

“If he did something like that, you kind of wonder, where was that body all that time?” Gilbert said.

With the identification of Brenda Jacobs, neighbors say, after 15-plus years, they may be able to move on from the tragedy.

“The one thing that I do hope that, especially for the victim’s family, if this is all that they say, that’s a long time. I pray for them and hope that they get closure that they need,” Gilbert said.

Jacobs leaves behind two children who have been in custody with family. Babcock remains in state police custody and will reportedly be moved from Philadelphia to Montoursville but state police have confirmed no timeline on that.

State police are working on scheduling an official news conference on the case in Montoursville in the coming days.

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