Local News

Archaeologists' search finds no signs of missing Hope Mills man

Posted May 27, 2010 9:22 a.m. EDT

Kent Jacobs was last seen about two miles from his mother's Hope Mills home on March 10, 2002.

— A search by North Carolina State University scientists was ended after turning up no new signs of a Hope Mills man who has been missing for eight years, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

Geologist Ron Crowson and forensic archaeologist Billy Oliver used high-tech equipment to search a wooded lot off Brooklyn Circle Wednesday as part of the investigation into the March 10, 2002, disappearance of Kent Jacobs.

Debbie Tanna, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said the scientists found no signs of Jacobs, who was 42 when he disappeared from a neighborhood about 2 miles from his mother's home. Relatives said he has a disability that left him with the mental capacity of a 9-year-old.

"There was no evidence found to support suggestions that Jacobs' remains were buried in the area," Tanna said in a statement. "This is one of the handful of leads that our homicide team will continue to follow in the months to come."

Jacobs' disappearance is oldest unsolved missing persons case in Cumberland County, and a new detective was recently assigned to the case. Since about five months after Jacobs went missing, the case has been treated as a homicide.

The N.C. State scientists are part of the North Carolina Project for Forensic Science, which has assisted in about 70 homicide investigations across the state in the past five years.