Thursday, September 19, 2002

Charges imminent in death, dismemberment

By The Associated Press

        WOOSTER, Ohio - Charges are expected to be filed by next week against a suspect in the dismemberment murder of 14-year-old Kristen Jackson, according to the Wayne County Sheriff's Department.

        Joel D. Yockey, 46, now in the Wayne County Jail on a parole violation, is the only suspect in the girl's disappearance and death.

        Investigators have recovered the girl's severed head and limbs but not her torso. The failure to recover the girl's torso does not prevent building a case against Mr. Yockey, said Sheriff's Capt. Douglas Hunter.

        Investigators do not know why the torso was not among the body parts recovered and sent to the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office for examination, Capt. Hunter said.

        “There's nothing about this that isn't odd,” he said.

        Capt. Hunter said sheriff's deputies have suspended searching for Kristen's missing remains. Her head and limbs were found Saturday in a swampy area.

        Other potential evidence against Mr. Yockey is being analyzed, and his car was searched, Capt. Hunter said.

        Joseph Persichini, acting agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland division, however, said some areas are still being searched for the missing torso.

        “Right now we are trying to put the investigation together,” Agent Persichini said. “Now you step back and you take a look at what you have.”

        Mr. Yockey was released from prison in March after serving a 15-year sentence for raping a teenager in 1986. He was living with his parents west of Wooster. Kristen was known to visit a friend whose family lived next door to Mr. Yockey.

        Kristen was last seen at the Wayne County Fair about 9 p.m. Sept. 9.


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