A woman suspected of being involved in the disappearance of a Florida woman is apparently refusing to eat while behind bars, according to officials.
CBS47 reports that Sheriff Bill Leeper announced that the search continues for missing mother of three, Joleen Cummings, who was last seen leaving the Tangles Hair Salon in Fernandina Beach at around 5 p.m. on May 13. Kimberly Kessler, who went by the name Jennifer Marie Sybert, was Cumming’s co-worker at the salon and reportedly the last person to see her. When authorities uncovered Kessler’s true identity, along with other alleged fraudulent identities, she started a hungry strike.
Authorities report Kessler hasn’t eaten since June 2. The suspect was initially in the Nassau County jail, but officials moved her to the Duvall County jail after she refused to eat. Officials confirmed that Kessler is scheduled to be moved back to Nassau County jail once she starts to eat again.
— First Coast News (@FCN2go) June 13, 2018
Last Friday, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office announced that detectives uncovered 18 different aliases used by Kessler, spanning back to 1996 and used in at least 12 different cities in Florida and numerous other cities in Arizona, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. Kessler reportedly held various different job titles over the years, such as a truck driver, hair stylist, temporary staff worker and in restaurants.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Kessler apparently once vanished herself from Butler County, Pennsylvania, in 2004. Yet, it took her family eight years before they reported her missing. Apparently Kessler was never the subject of foul play, but reportedly decided she simply wanted to get away from friends and family, and did so without telling them where she was going.
“It’s extremely strange and that’s why it’s making national news at this point.” Trooper Jim Long told WPXI. “We did not expect this was a legit missing person. This person didn’t want to be found.”
Kessler later took on the identity of “Jennifer Sybert” and moved to Jacksonville. Court records indicate that a woman named Jennifer Sybert passed away over 30 years ago in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Kessler reportedly took the lady’s identity as her own.
Search Continues for Joleen Cummings
When Cummings failed to pick up her three kids from her former husband, she was reported missing. On May 14, authorities went to the salon to interview Kessler but the suspect left before they could talk to her. Another co-worker told police that Kessler pulled into the parking lot to report for work, but when she learned police wanted to speak with her, she left.
The following day, authorities found Cummings’ SUV abandoned close to a local Home Deport store. Surveillance camera reportedly captured Kessler parking Cummings’ vehicle a little after 1 a.m. on Sunday. Kessler got out of the driver’s side of the SUV but Cummings never emerged. According to an affidavit, Kessler then walked to the nearby Gates gas station, where she got into a taxi cab.
Missing Joleen Cummings from Yulee, Florida.2006 beige Ford Explorer with Florida plate 035-KBQ.1-904-548-4003
On May 16, police located Kessler sleeping inside a black Kia Soul at a rest area off of Interstate 95 in St. John’s County. She was arrested and charged with grand theft auto, based on the footage of her driving the victim’s car. Police also noted she had scratches on one hand and one eye.
On May 22, Leeper announced that there is evidence that suggests that Cummings is no longer alive. The type of evidence found is still unclear but authorities are now offering a $4,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to Cummings’ whereabouts.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office at at 904-548-4005 or the First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS or 8477.
[Feature Photo: Kimberly Kessler; Joleen Cummings/Nassau County Sheriff’s Office]