WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (TCD) -- A 52-year-old man will spend 15 to 30 years in prison for killing his girlfriend in 2003 and concealing her body for several years.
Penn Live reports Jade Babcock pleaded guilty to third-degree murder on Thursday, June 16, and Senior Judge Kenneth D. Brown sentenced him immediately after the plea. WBRE-TV reports Babcock initially faced charges of criminal homicide, obstruction, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence.
Jacobs' sister reported her missing to Pennsylvania State Police on March 21, 2013, and said her family had not heard from her since December 2003. State police began an investigation into her disappearance and learned her family believed she was dead. While speaking with family, investigators learned Jacobs' parents kicked her out of the house because she was using drugs and alcohol, so she moved in with Babcock.
On May 11, 2019, the Williamsport Bureau of Police responded to a call about a severed leg found on the bank of the west branch of the Susquehanna River. According to the criminal complaint, police soon found the other leg. Both had been cut below the knee, and the pathologist determined the legs "had been kept away from weather, scavengers, and insects."
Months later, in September 2019, Pennsylvania State Police received information that led them to believe Jacobs' body was in a storage unit in Philadelphia. One of Babcock’s estranged girlfriends reportedly told investigators she saw Jacobs' body in a coal bin. She reportedly said Babcock "removed the body from that coal bin, placed it into a wooden box, and moved the box into a storage unit in Philadelphia."
The body reportedly needed to be moved because the property was being sold.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for Babcock’s storage unit and discovered Jacobs' mummified remains.
The criminal complaint says Babcock told detectives he and Jacobs were both drunk and got into an argument. He called her death an "accident."
Babcock reportedly kept his girlfriend’s body in his closet for "several months" before moving it to the coal bin. Babcock said he severed Jacobs' legs before moving her body into the wooden box to take to storage in order for her to fit inside.
According to Penn Live, Jacobs suffered a subdural hematoma when she died.