A Colorado murder investigation that has already resulted in the arrest of the victim’s sister, mother and brother-in-law has received an additional shot of intrigue this week with a bombshell exclusive report from the Daily Mail.
As CrimeOnline has previously reported, 33-year-old Stephanie Jackson was the first to be arrested on suspicion of murdering Jacob Millison. Her brother was 29 when he disappeared in 2015 and his remains were found near a family ranch late last year.
Two days after Jackson’s arrest, 68-year-old Deborah Sue Rudibaugh, the victim’s mother, was also arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Rudibaugh, a frail and seriously ill woman even at the time of her son’s disappearance, has confessed to his murder, according to court records cited by the Daily Mail.
After fatally shooting Millison, she allegedly said she put his body in a bucket and buried it in a pile of maure.
At the time, Rudibaugh said she knew she had only a few years left to live and decided to hide her son’s body in an effort to buy a little freedom.
“I’d go to jail and I wanted at least some time to live,” she reportedly said.
Jackson is still on the hook, according to investigators who think she at least assisted in transporting her brother’s body after he was killed in his sleep at the family ranch. Her husband, 34-year-old David Jackson, is also facing criminal charges of being an accessory to murder.
Control over that 700-acre property in Parlin has been reported as a likely motivating factor in Millison’s murder. Rudibaugh allegedly cut him out of her will after she received the ranch upon her husband’s 2009 death.
While police still believe such a family fight was behind the deadly act, Rudibaugh reportedly claims she was driven to murder after having been abused by Millison for years.
After initially claiming he likely disappeared on a drug binge, the mother now claims she killed him due to a pattern of abusive behavior. She reportedly described one final incident — two days before she allegedly shot him — that sent her over the edge.
“And then I woke up, he was sitting there with a club, a stick, a piece of wood,” Rudibaugh said. “It was for the fire. He said that nobody would ever miss me.”
All three suspects were still being held at Gunnison County Jail as of the latest reports available. A judge denied bond for Rudibaugh. Stephanie and David Jackson were jailed on $500,000 and $100,000 bond, respectively.
In addition to the primary counts, all three are expected to face charges of tampering with a body, concealing a death and abusing a corpse.
The Daily Mail also published exclusive information about the investigation as revealed by Gunnison County Sheriff Rick Besecker. Millison’s remains took an especially long time to identify because he had no dental records to which they could compare the teeth recovered by authorities.
“It was months before we could get a positive identification,” the sheriff said. “We did not anticipate that.”
[Deborah Rudibaugh, Stephanie Jackson and David Jackson/Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office]