Missing mother found dead in trunk of car in St. Louis [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 09--ST. LOUIS -- The body of 30-year-old Ebony Jackson was discovered in the trunk of her car, which was found early Tuesday along a desolate street in St. Louis.
The cause of death was not immediately clear.
Breckenridge Hills police obtained a court order Tuesday forcing a technology company to locate the Oklahoma City woman's 2004 cream-colored Mitsubishi Galant via the car's GPS system. St. Louis County crime scene detectives, city police and Breckenridge Hills officers surrounded the vehicle along the 4400 block of Elmbank Avenue at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.
After towing the car, police obtained a search warrant to enter the vehicle and discovered the woman's body inside late Tuesday.
Her 3-month-old baby had been abandoned in a car seat inside a hallway in a Breckenridge Hills apartment complex early Friday morning. He was clean and warm and had a full bottle with him. Jackson had not been heard from or seen by her friends or family members since.
St. Louis city police likely will assume the investigation because Jackson's body was found in their jurisdiction.
The car was parked in front of a home with a condemnation notice on it. The car was missing a hubcap and its rear license plate. A temporary handicapped parking tag dangled from the rear view mirror.
Authorities weren't sure how long the car had been on Elmbank Avenue. One neighbor said he thought it had been there five or six days and hadn't moved in that time.
Earlier in the morning, police met with prosecutors in St. Louis County to seek a court order in an effort to find the car through the GPS data. The Galant was outfitted with a GPS device that allows the car to be located and disabled if a payment is missed.
Ebony Jackson's mother, Stella Jackson, of Denver, owns the Galant that Ebony Jackson drove. Originally, Breckenridge Hills Detective Sgt. Jeff Heisse told Stella Jackson that she had to ask the dealership for permission to activate the device to locate the vehicle. Stella Jackson told the Post-Dispatch that the dealership said they could not do so without a court order from police.
"Why have they waited so long to do this " she asked.
When informed by the Post-Dispatch that the car had been found, Ebony Jackson's mother gasped. She said she wasn't aware of any connection between the missing woman and where the car was found.
Three family members who showed up just after the car was towed away said they also didn't know why Ebony Jackson would have been in the neighborhood and cried at the scene.
"This is definitely confusing and totally out character for her," Jessie Mosley said.
Her family has been critical of police response in the case. Her relatives feared all along that Jackson might be in danger.
Relatives said Ebony Jackson suffered aftereffects from a brain tumor, leaving her with memory problems and mood swings. She ordinarily uses her cellphone to stay in touch with her mother, who lives in Denver, during times of confusion as well as normalcy, said Tondra Mosley, who considers herself Jackson's aunt even though they are cousins.
Family members trying to reach her found that cellphone just sent calls to voice mail, suggesting a dead battery.
Ebony Jackson left a note for her live-in boyfriend and father of the child, Craig Prom, and left their Oklahoma City home last week to show the new baby to family in East St. Louis. In a phone call to family Thursday, she said she had arrived in the St. Louis area the night before.
They made plans to meet Friday, with Jackson telling relatives she was staying with an unidentified friend in the meantime.
Relatives never heard from Jackson again. The baby was found in the Breckenridge Hills apartment building early Friday morning. The apartment where he was found is a few minutes from the home of one of Jackson's cousins, though authorities aren't sure if she tried to go to his house or not.
Prom drove to St. Louis from the couple's home in Oklahoma City on Friday, only to be told by Breckenridge Hills police that the DNA test could not be conducted until Monday. He returned home but came back to St. Louis on Monday. He could not be reached for comment.
Police in Oklahoma City said Jackson had been arrested at least three times since 2005, when she was accused of assaulting a police officer. In August 2011, she was arrested on suspicion of larceny of merchandise. On Nov. 27, police said, she paid for several items in her cart at a Walmart but did not pay for several packages of men's underwear piled in her baby's stroller. It was unclear whether the cases were prosecuted.
Mosley was unaware of Jackson's November arrest but knew of the earlier events. She blamed the 2005 assault on Jackson's medication, which causes mood swings. She blamed the larcenies on forgetfulness, caused by the tumor. But family members insisted Jackson would not have forgotten her child, fueling their fears for her safety.
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