State News

Ohioan wanted in NC murder arrested after manhunt

Posted August 15, 2012 12:09 p.m. EDT
Updated August 15, 2012 3:30 p.m. EDT

— A man wanted in the killing of his on-and-off girlfriend during a vacation to the Outer Banks was captured in an Ohio hotel room Wednesday morning after a month on the run from authorities.

Law enforcement officers said they surprised Nathan Summerfield, 27, when they burst into his room at the Legacy Inn and Suites in Wadsworth, Ohio, where he had checked in a day earlier under a fictitious name. Summerfield, who had grown a beard, was unarmed and did not resist during the 9:30 a.m. arrest led by the U.S. Marshal’s Office and joined by local authorities.

Summerfield is the only suspect in the death of Lynn Jackenheimer, 33, who disappeared in July while vacationing with him and her children on Hatteras Island. Her body was found about two weeks later in a vacant lot in Frisco, about 20 to 30 miles from where she had been staying.

An autopsy revealed Jackenheimer died from strangulation and stab wounds.
Since Jackenheimer’s death, law enforcement, family members and the community of Ashland, Ohio, have rallied to find Summerfield.

“In my experience in 23 years, I’ve never seen an incident that has affected the community like this has,” Ashland County Sheriff Wayne Risner said at a news conference Wednesday morning. “I’ve never seen so many people come together to give aid and comfort to the (Jackenheimer) family.”

Summerfield was held Wednesday in the Medina County Jail. He will be returned to North Carolina to face a charge of first-degree murder.

“I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad we can take the pictures down. And now the process can start in North Carolina,” Risner said. “We’ll give them assistance.”

Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie said in a statement that he was immediately notified of the arrest and is working with authorities to arrange the return of Summerfield.

During the news conference, U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot declined to provide details about Summerfield’s capture, saying only that “a number of tips” led them to the hotel room. He also said authorities tracked Summerfield all over the country and found his car abandoned in Michigan.

"I will guarantee you and I will promise you that they were on this case every minute of every day and they did not sleep," Elliot said. "They were determined to bring justices to the family."

Risner offered support to relatives of Jackenheimer who attended the news conference.

“This is just another phase that’s beginning for you guys,” he said. “It’s going to be a process, but know this: You have a whole community behind you.”