State News

Dare 911 caller thought body could be missing Ohio woman

Posted July 16, 2012 1:36 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2012 3:36 p.m. EDT

— A person who called 911 after discovering a body Saturday on North Carolina's Outer Banks first thought the bulky trash bag contained a dead sea turtle before realizing it could be a missing Ohio woman, according to a recording released Monday.

Capt. Charles Nieman of the Dare County Sheriff's Office, which is leading the investigation, said the body was found Saturday in the Frisco area after deputies responded to a 911 call that came in about 4:30 p.m.

Detectives are waiting for confirmation from the medical examiner to determine whether the corpse is that of Lynn Jackenheimer, who disappeared last week.

"I may have found a body in a trash bag ... probably that woman missing from Ohio," the caller said.

As required by state law, the sheriff's office redacted and distorted the digital recording before releasing it to the media.

The caller said that a "really bad" smell drew attention to the bag.

"Couldn't tell what it is at first, but there's definitely a Hooters shirt," the caller said. "It was so big, I thought maybe someone killed a turtle and shoved it in there. Then I saw that shirt and I poked through as much as I could."

Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie said that an autopsy would be done by Tuesday, a step he says is needed to identify the body found about 20 to 30 miles from where Jackenheimer, 33, of Ashland, Ohio, disappeared.

Sheriff's investigators were unable to identify the gender of the body.

Jackenheimer went to Hatteras Island last week with her on-and-off boyfriend, Nate Summerfield, her 13-year-old daughter and their 3-year-old son but didn't return with them. 

Authorities said that Summerfield brought the children to the Ashland, Ohio, area and left them with his family before disappearing himself.

His brother called 911 and told police that Summerfield told him he strangled Jackenheimer. Authorities have named Summerfield a person of interest in the case.