Transcript: Susan Jacobson

TRANSCRIPT

*Spooky music starts*

On the morning of May 1, 2013 a jogger put on her exercise clothes and running shoes to prepare for her morning run. It was already a warm morning in Roseville, CA; 87 degrees by 8 am. As the runner made her way up to the stoplight at the corner of Pleasant Grove and Woodcreek Oaks Blvd. she noticed what looked like business cards strewn on the ground next to the sidewalk. When she got closer she saw what appeared to be a wallet next to the business cards. She reached down to pick them up to see if any of them had identifying information on them. There was an ID but no cash or credit cards. She walked into the nearby Starbucks and gave the wallet to the cashier, with the hopes that the owner of the wallet would soon be back for it. Little did she know, six years later, the wallet would still be in an evidence box at the Roseville Police Dept. And despite months of investigation and the search efforts of hundreds of volunteers, law enforcement wouldn’t be any closer to discovering how the wallet ended up on the ground or what happened to its 59 year old shy, quiet owner. The mystery would leave family members, community members, and law enforcement all wondering the same thing: what happened to Susan Jacobson?

*Placer Unsolved Theme Music*

*”Gaddy” by Blue Dot Sessions starts*

Welcome to the fifth episode of Placer Unsolved. Today we’re going to be talking about the disappearance of 59 year old Susan Jacobson from Roseville, CA. Susan Jacobson was born Susan Marie Leonard on October 25, 1953 in LaFayette, CA to Charles and Donna Leonard. Charles was a WWII veteran who fought with the Marines in the Pacific Theater and Donna was a school teacher when she wasn’t busy raising her children. The oldest of two girls, Susan was four years older than her sister Carol. When Susan was born she was a breech baby. With her feet coming out first the doctor unknowingly dislocated her hip during her birth. Unfortunately, this dislocation wasn’t discovered for about a year and even once the damage was repaired her hip would never be the same. As a child she wasn’t able to spend a lot of time outdoors socializing and running around playing like the other kids, which affected her self confidence and self esteem and led to her developing a very shy, introverted personality according to family members. But despite her physical setback and introverted nature, Susan had a happy childhood with fond memories; one of which was going to the swim club just a few doors down from her home with friends. When Susan got older she attended San Ramon High School and went to proms at two different schools; one with a boyfriend and another one with a friend. She was a good student but school could be difficult because she would freeze up during tests causing her to have to over-prepare for all of her exams in order to maintain her good grades.

After high school Susan attended Cal Poly for a year and then came home. The reasoning for the short stay is unknown but shortly after her return home, at age 19, she married a serviceman who was stationed in San Diego while Susan stayed up north in the Bay Area. Due to the distance between the two spouses the marriage didn’t last long. After her year at Cal Poly Susan attended Diablo Valley College while living in Pleasant Hill. She left Diablo Valley College just short of getting her degree when she decided to attend court reporting school while working for Oshman’s Sports in Sacramento. This is where she met her next husband Chris Jacobson. Chris Jacobson says he was immediately struck by Susan’s green eyes and dark hair when he first met her. They dated for two years before getting married and a year and a half later Susan became pregnant with their only child, Kevin. Susan was a petite woman standing at only 4’ 11 and 95 lbs. Her husband Chris says she was so tiny she only reached 102 lbs by the end of her pregnancy.

After Susan and Chris were married Susan stopped pursuing her court reporting certificate. The testing was stressful for most students but for someone who had testing anxiety like Susan did the exams could be overwhelming. After Kevin was born Chris was transferred to the Concord Oshman’s store. So the family moved back to bay area where Susan was finally able to complete her coursework and earn her degree from Cal State East Bay, the whole time driving Kevin to and from daycare in Danville and then heading back to Hayward for her classes. Graduating was not a big deal to Susan. There wasn’t a celebration or a lot of talk about it once she was finished as she didn’t like to draw attention to herself. Her parents and her sister had all graduated so it was something Susan wanted to accomplish as well.

Like many first time moms, Susan enjoyed being a mother but she also enjoyed the break she got while she was working. She had only her sister Carol growing up and no brothers so she was not familiar at all with how differently little boys behave from little girls. Kevin was a lot more active than Susan and her sister had been and sometimes when Kevin played with his boy cousins Chris had to remind Susan not to worry; they were just being boys.

Over the next 18 years Susan worked retail and administrative jobs off and on while taking care of her family. Once Kevin graduated high school in Concord, CA, Susan and Chris moved to Las Vegas, NV. The warm climate and lower cost of living made it seem like the perfect retirement spot. Chris was working for The Good Guys which was an electronics store at the time so he was able to transfer to their Vegas store. But Susan struggled with living in Las Vegas. She didn’t work or have friends that she socialized with and although she was friendly with her neighbors when she saw them she never got close to any of them. Because of her shyness the couple never went out to socialize with other couples, despite her being willing to do so before the couple was married. Chris remembers a story when Susan was working in Danville and living in Sacramento. She had resigned from her job and the company she worked for was having a goodbye party for her. On the afternoon of the party she was so anxious about having to interact in a social setting that she had Chris call the store manager to tell him that her car had broken down and she wouldn’t be able to make it to her own party. But Susan’s car hadn’t broken down. She just disliked being the center of attention that much.

Chris recalls that Susan didn’t mind the heat in Las Vegas but she couldn’t stand the wind. He describes her as having a bit of OCD so the leaves blowing into their yard caused her a great deal of anxiety. He remembers waking up one night and finding Susan outside with a flashlight picking up all the leaves in their yard. She sometimes called herself “Mrs. Monk” after the famous TV detective with obsessive compulsive disorder played by Tony Shalhoub. All of the items in the Jacobson’s cabinets were faced out so that they could be easily read and their home was always spotless.

Shortly after moving to Vegas Susan’s mother became ill and was starting to show signs of dementia. Her husband Chris recalls a story where Susan’s dad awoke to police in his bedroom in the middle of the night. When he asked them what they were doing there they told him a woman had called and said there was someone in her bedroom. That caller had been Susan’s mom.

Because of Susan’s mother’s progressing dementia she was eventually moved into a nursing facility and Susan’s son Kevin moved into his grandparent’s home in order to help his grandfather take care of his grandmother when she would come home for visits. This move caused Susan to feel guilty about being so far away from her parents and for her son having to take care of them. Unfortunately, shortly after Kevin moved into his grandparents’ home his grandfather passed away.

By this time Chris Jacobson was working at a furniture and appliance store, RC Wiley, in Las Vegas and was offered the operations manager position at their new store that was opening in Roseville, CA. He accepted the position and the couple moved to Roseville, which was a huge relief for Susan. They were now able to move Susan’s mom to a facility near them so that Susan could continue the logistics of her mother’s care, and Kevin could continue with his school work.

For those who aren’t familiar with Roseville, CA, it’s the largest city in Placer County with a population of approximately 133,000 people. It sits in the southwest end of the county where it’s bordered by Sacramento County. The city itself, not including unincorporated areas, is about 42 sq miles. Up until the late 90s it was mostly known as a small town. But after the millenium the building of many businesses and upscale shopping centers caused a boom in population and housing. People from the San Francisco Bay Area found it to be a nicer, quieter, and less expensive alternative to living in the Bay Area despite the 2-3 hour daily commute. So Bay Area transplants moved into Roseville and other parts of Placer County in droves. According to Roseville City’s annual budget released in 2011 and 12, Roseville has the thirteenth highest retail sales of all California cities.

Violent crime in Roseville each year is significantly less than the national and state averages. However, according to CityRating dot com, there has been an increase in property crimes in recent years. In 2016, the most recent year available on City Rating, the property crime rate was higher than the national average by 2% but lower than California’s average by 2%. There were zero murders and 21 rapes reported in 2016 and those numbers do not change drastically from year to year. So overall, Roseville, while not perfect, is a relatively safe place from violent crime compared to other cities in California.

When Susan and Chris first moved to Roseville they bought a condo. Chris thought this would be the perfect place for them to live. There weren’t any yards they had to maintain so Chris thought that would be a calming feature for Susan. But he says he would often still find her in the breezeway sweeping up dirt and leaves. She just always seemed to find something that needed to be cleaned no matter the setting.

That first year in Roseville, Susan took her mother out to lunch and to shop a few times a week which she really enjoyed. She had always felt her mother was her best friend. Unfortunately, one year later, in 2007, her mother passed away, which her husband Chris recalls was an incredibly difficult time for Susan.

Two and a half years after Susan’s mother’s death Chris and Susan bought a house in Sun City in Roseville, CA, which is a 55 and older senior living community. It offers many activities and amenities such as golf, tennis, swimming, fitness and biking; but being developed around a golf course, golf is its main attraction. The development has more than 3,000 homes and is described on its website as a “resort lifestyle for active adults”. When you first approach the Sun City community you’re greeted with a beautiful rockwall and waterfalls that flow into a large pond that is sometimes visited by ducks and geese. There are no gates at this particular retirement community. But a brick and stone wall sits between opposite lanes of traffic at the entrance and holds the community’s logo and sign.

After moving to Sun City Chris continued to work for RC Wiley and Susan spent her days doing chores that she scheduled for each day, exercising on her treadmill, and running errands. Once she was finished with all of her chores she would sit down and enjoy one of the shows she recorded like “The Real Housewives”. It was one of the ways she liked to wind down and relax.

Both Susan’s son and her husband describe Susan as a dog person who loves animals. She had a 50 lb husky mix named Gus that she would walk with Chris most days once he got home from work. Her son Kevin says that Susan considered Gus her “fur child”. Other than her walks with Chris and the dog, Susan only exercised in her home on her treadmill; normally twice a day for 30 minutes each time. Her husband states she did not like being outside and she didn’t like to walk by herself, not even around her neighborhood. The only time she would walk the dog alone was if Chris was out of town.

Susan was known to be an early riser. She went to bed early and woke up early, often hitting the stores she needed to visit by 7 am in order to avoid the crowds. Because she was an early riser and got most of her errands and work done early, her main meal for the day typically was lunch. She would have a small breakfast and dinner and it wasn’t unusual for her to have eaten by 4, well before Chris got home from work. Like many stay at home wives her days were pretty routine which seemed to cause some depression in Susan.

But that routine changed a little when Susan received exciting news from her son and daughter-in-law. In late 2012 Susan found out her son and his wife would be expecting their first child in July 2013. Her son Kevin says his mom was very excited and despite not knowing the sex before the baby was born, Susan felt sure it would be a girl.

Despite Susan’s excitement at hearing the news that she was going to be a grandmother she still seemed to have a daily battle with the monotony and seclusion of her life. She was still sad about the death of her mother and Chris was still working at the time and gone everyday while Susan was at home alone. So a few months into 2013 Chris decided to take Susan to Disney World to try and give her a break from her daily routine. Their trip was only a few days long but Chris remembers Susan enjoying the short vacation. She was able to get a few souvenirs including some wind chimes and a Mickey Mouse visor that she loved to wear. When they returned home he felt as though the trip had uplifted Susan’s spirits and given her a much needed rest from the everyday humdrum she had been experiencing.

*Spooky music starts*

But a few months after their return from Disney World things would only take a turn for the worst. On the morning of Wednesday, May 1, 2013 Susan and Chris awakened early as they always did. According to Chris it seemed like any other day since they’d moved into the quiet Sun City community. Susan told her husband that she had to get a few things from the grocery store and run some errands to Target and Kohls and that she may or may not be home by the time he got back from the gym.

When Chris left to go work out he states Susan was still there and her car was still in the garage. When he arrived back home, a little after 7am, he says Susan and her car were both gone. But he didn’t think much of it as she had told him her plans for that day. He showered, got ready for work, and then left.

When Chris arrived home that evening around 5:30 pm he noticed right away that neither Susan nor her car were there which was unusual for her. But Chris figured she must’ve gone out to get something to eat or to run an errand. He says he didn’t talk to Susan that day while he was at work but that wasn’t unusual for them. The couple shared a cell phone and it typically sat on the kitchen table as it did that night, so Chris had no way to reach Susan. He says he waited about half an hour before calling law enforcement at around 6 pm in order to find out if they’d made any arrests or if they had any news or information about Susan.

Roseville police told Chris they didn’t have any record of Susan and to try calling the local hospitals to see if she had been admitted; then if he still couldn’t locate her, to call them back and they would send officers out to take a report.

Unfortunately, after calling the hospitals Chris Jacobson wasn’t any closer to finding his wife. None of them had admitted a Susan Jacobson or a Jane Doe who resembled her. So he called Roseville Police back and they sent out two officers to take a report who then elevated the call and requested that detectives respond.

Chris doesn’t remember what time Susan’s car was found by police that evening but he does remember detectives coming back to his house after 8pm to tell him they’d located Susan’s blue, two door, Honda Civic unlocked in the Raley’s Supermarket parking lot at the corner of Woodcreek Oaks and Pleasant Grove Blvd.; just a short two miles away from their home and the very same shopping center where Susan was supposed to buy groceries that morning. In her unlocked car they found her purse but it was missing the wallet; the wallet that police would soon discover had been turned into the Starbucks in the same shopping center earlier that morning by the jogger. Susan’s son Kevin states that Susan was very meticulous when it came to her car and her belongings. She never left her car unlocked and she especially never left her purse in her car even if she was just quickly running into a store. It was highly unlikely she would’ve grabbed her wallet and left her purse in even a locked car, much less an unlocked car. So with that being the case, why was Susan’s car left unlocked? And why was her purse left inside? And how did her wallet end up yards away missing the cash and credit cards with some of its contents strewn about on the ground? And where was Susan Jacobson?

Over the next few days as Roseville Police investigated Susan’s disappearance, Susan’s sister, Carol, came up from southern California and Susan’s son came in from the Bay Area, in order to help with the searches. Her son, Kevin, remembers just going and standing in the Raley’s parking lot and going through every possible scenario in his head. In his mind, he believed if he was closer to where she disappeared from maybe something would click and he would realize what had happened to his mother.

By Sunday, May 5th Susan had still not come home or been located, so a search was organized with more than 100 volunteers, most of them Chris’ coworkers from RC Wiley. They searched the park and wild land area across from the Raley’s shopping center known as Mahany Park and the golf course and surrounding areas of Sun City where Susan and Chris lived. If those searches turned up any clues law enforcement was tight lipped. But Chris doesn’t believe anything of significance was found during either search or else they would be closer to finding Susan. And they’re not. Both Susan’s son and sister helped in both of these searches while Chris stayed by the phone in case Susan called.

Over the next few weeks Susan’s family and the community did what they could to find her. Her son Kevin started a Facebook page “Susan Jacobson – Missing in Roseville, CA”. Two local twin sisters, Trudy Swasey and Judy Cornell, who didn’t know Susan or her husband both felt compelled to help in any way they could so they paid to have flyers printed and spent days distributing them around Roseville and searching through the fields around where she went missing.

In the days and weeks following Susan’s disappearance law enforcement scoured hours and hours of video recovered from the businesses in the Raley’s shopping center. There were two banks and a jewelry store so the community was hopeful the video surveillance would yield some clues as to what happened to her. Unfortunately, much of the video was difficult at best to be used to decipher cars much less people, so portions of it were sent off to the FBI for enhancement and would take months to get back.

Susan’s son Kevin says that law enforcement did everything they could during those first few months to find Susan. They checked out his father thoroughly, talked to employees who worked at the stores in the Raley’s shopping center, and they found and spoke to the jogger who found Susan’s wallet. On Tuesday, May 28th, Roseville Police and the Placer County Sheriff’s Dept, along with their dogs conducted a joint search of the Woodcreek Oaks Golf Course area, which sits just north of the Raley’s shopping center. But according to the Susan Jacobson Missing page that search yielded nothing.

Chris states law enforcement searched the Jacobson home and computer and they kept Susan’s blue Honda Civic for processing for months. But again, none of these searches seemed to yield any helpful information in locating Susan. Although Chris Jacobson does say law enforcement was able to piece together camera footage from different businesses in order to track all the vehicles going in and out of the parking lot, leaving just one vehicle that never left. When law enforcement showed Chris the enhanced photo that had been returned by the FBI of the driver of this vehicle Chris told them the driver did not look like Susan. Her hair wasn’t right and she didn’t seem to have a visor on, which she always wore. But he acknowledges it was difficult to see because the black and white image was taken through a business window from across the parking lot. He asked law enforcement if they were sure it was the right car but he says he never received an answer to this question.

About a month after Susan went missing a local dog handler, who has volunteered her tracking dogs for previous missing persons cases, offered her services to try to track Susan’s scent from where her car was found. According to Chris and Kevin the dogs tracked Susan’s scent through the parking lot to the area where her wallet was found, then south across the intersection and into an open area of Mahany Park. But then the trail just stops. So the question is, how viable is a person’s scent one month later in a busy parking lot and intersection where dozens of high school students and pedestrians walk everyday and hundreds of cars drive through? Looking back Kevin says he wishes these dogs had been able to track Susan sooner than one month later but he is still incredibly appreciative of the volunteer’s kindness and help. It is unknown what certifications or credentials this volunteer or her dogs had in tracking but law enforcement had just had their dogs out four days earlier. Were law enforcement’s dogs tracking dogs? And if so, why didn’t their canines pick up Susan’s scent? And why did they wait 28 days to bring their dogs out?

Eventually the few leads that law enforcement had dried up and Susan’s family hired two private investigators in the hopes that they could find some sort of clue as to what happened to her. One of the private investigators also used scent tracking dogs according to her husband Chris. The dogs tracked Susan from the Raley’s parking lot all the way over to an open area near Fiddyment Rd. and Blue Oaks Blvd. But that is completely the opposite direction from where the volunteer dog handler tracked Susan’s scent. According to Kevin the private investigators went down a lot of paths but in the end none of them proved to be fruitful for the family or for law enforcement.

You can find screenshots of maps and all the locations mentioned in this podcast on our site PlacerUnsolved.com.

Sadly, the days Susan remained missing turned into weeks, and then months, and then years with no trace of what happened to the petite, quiet, introverted mother, wife, and sister who loved her family and felt so passionately about animals.

So what happened to Susan Jacobson? Her son Kevin says if he had to put his finger on one thing, he now believes his mother could’ve disappeared on her own. When he first heard about his mother’s disappearance, the morning after she was reported missing, he figured she had gone off on her own and done something to harm herself or had a breakdown. He says she had an alcohol dependency, along with the struggles and stresses mentioned earlier, so he believed her voluntarily leaving was a real possibility. Since then he’s thought through all the possible reasons for his mother’s disappearance, and he’s circled back to believing that Susan leaving on her own is the most likely scenario. But he acknowledges that none of the possible scenarios really make sense and that if she did leave on her own and did something to harm herself she should’ve turned up by now. He also struggles with her being so excited to be a grandmother. He says she was hopeful and felt sure the baby, who was supposed to be born just two months after Susan went missing, was going to be a girl. She talked about the baby and asked the soon-to-be parents what they needed and in what ways she could be helpful. So why would Susan, now expecting a new joy she was excited to be able to help take care of, just give up and leave before the birth of that baby? Did all of her struggles finally just become too much for her? According to Kevin, Susan had no place to go and was fairly dependent on her husband. He and Chris don’t believe that Susan could have stashed away more than a few hundred dollars in the year before she went missing.

If Susan Jacobson did take off on her own there are only really four possibilities: she left and started a new life; she left and met with foul play; she left and committed suicide; or she had a mental breakdown of some sort and could still be out there somewhere possibly unaware of who she is.

When someone wants to starts a new life and avoid being found, they would either need a new identity or they would have to commit to leading a life that leaves no paper or electronic trail, which, although possible, would be easier said than done. No paper or electronic trail would mean having to be paid in cash under the table for your work, paying your rent with cash, taking public transportation everywhere, and avoiding being stopped or arrested by law enforcement. Although definitely possible, it seems far-fetched that a woman with a good amount of social anxiety, who ran her errands early in the morning just to avoid the crowds would be comfortable doing all of these things. Was there something in her life that was so bad that she would purposely subject herself to the very things that made her uncomfortable? The answer to that question is no, according to her husband Chris Jacobson.

If Susan did leave on her own and take on a new identity she either would have had to purchase new vital documents like a birth certificate and social security card or she would’ve had to do something called “ghosting”, which is essentially taking on the identity of a deceased person. In the brief amount of research I was able to do I found that in order to purchase a new birth certificate or social security card she would have to either buy them from someone she knew or met or she’d have to take her chances and purchase them on the dark web.

One of the ways someone commits a ghosting scam is they find someone who was born around the same time as them but has died young. They then obtain a birth certificate for that person and then use that birth certificate to obtain a social security card. The problem with this scam is it has become more and more difficult as more and more of our government records have become electronic. The other way a ghosting scam can be committed is by obtaining a person’s identity immediately following their death, before the government agencies have had a chance to communicate with one another. According to LifeLock, an identity theft protection company, there are 2.5 million identities stolen each year from deceased persons. So could Susan Jacobson have been savvy enough to steal an identity this way? Given that she didn’t socialize with anyone and she only knew how to use her computer to check emails, these possibilities just don’t seem very likely.

So if she wasn’t savvy and confident enough to take on a new identity or to start a new life without leaving a paper trail could she have left to commit suicide? Sadly, tens of thousands of people commit suicide each year in the US. In 2017 more than 47,000 people took their own lives and the suicide rate in this country has steadily risen since 2006. Susan’s son believes it’s possible she did something to harm herself but if she did he also believes she should’ve turned up somewhere by now. Did she hide herself so well that no one has been able to find her? Remember her husband said she did not enjoy being outdoors and did not like going for walks away from home by herself. And if she did want to kill herself, why would she drive her car to the Raley’s shopping center, walk out to the street, take the cash and credit cards out of her wallet and then throw it onto the sidewalk? It seems like a strange sequence of events to perform if you plan on ending your life. Again, especially if she disliked being in public as much as her family says she did.

Is it possible she took off on her own and then met with foul play somehow? That she somehow made it far away, possibly to a different state, without her ID, and that she just hasn’t been found or identified yet? There is a bus stop near the shopping center where she went missing. But her husband says he’s never know her to take public transportation due to her discomfort with being in public and social situations. So if she’s unlikely to take public transportation she’s probably very unlikely to hitchhike. According to Kevin and Chris, Susan’s missing credit cards have never been used. So she would’ve had to have used whatever cash she was able to save to get to her destination, which, remember, would only have been a few hundred dollars at most.

Internet sleuths who’ve looked into the case wondered if it’s possible Susan had some sort of a mental breakdown and either doesn’t know who she is or is living in a homeless community somewhere; or if she may have had early onset dementia. Remember, Susan’s mother had dementia so it did run in her family but it was not early onset. And according to Susan’s husband and son she wasn’t exhibiting any signs of it. Kevin says he checked with the local homeless shelters after Susan went missing, and Chris believes law enforcement did as well but those searches didn’t lead them any closer to finding Susan.

When Kevin initially heard about his mother’s disappearance he thought it was possible she had had a breakdown due to her alcohol use. But Susan was only known to drink at home. She never went out to drink. She always bought her alcohol and brought it back home. And although he wasn’t living at home at the time to know for sure, he believes 7 in the morning would’ve been early for her to start drinking.

Susan’s husband Chris has long believed that someone in the Raley’s parking lot that morning mistook Susan for a highschool student because of her size and they abducted her. He believes Susan would’ve fought back and the abductor wouldn’t have known what to do so he may have killed her and then dumped her body somewhere. Statistically, although teenage girls are the most common target of kidnappings, stranger abductions of children are incredibly rare. They make up 1/100th of 1% of all missing children in the US according to the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. And despite Roseville being right on Interstate 80 which is a well known human trafficking corridor, kidnappings for human trafficking purposes are even more rare. According to human trafficking expert, Dr. Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, the vast majority of traffickers prefer to lure their vulnerable victims out of desperate and needy situations by appearing to be kind and knowledgeable, not by taking them off the the street sight-unseen.

It’s unknown exactly where Susan’s car was located but her son, Kevin, remembers Roseville Police pointing to the middle row directly in front of the Raley’s entrance, about halfway down, which he says wasn’t an unusual spot for Susan to park since she was afraid of getting door dings. If this was where her car was located, it was still relatively close to the Raley’s entrance, not in the far end of the parking lot away from all activity. Her husband Chris doesn’t remember if Susan’s keys were recovered in her car but he believes they were because Roseville Police detective Mary Green drove the car back to the Jacobson home once they were done processing it. Chris Jacobson also states he had his home rekeyed after his wife went missing.

When I was researching this case, I went and parked in a spot halfway down the middle aisle in front of the Raley’s entrance at 7:30 in the morning on a weekday. And, although most people were parking closer to the store, I was still within sight of the other customers and certainly within hearing distance. There was also a steady stream of people coming and going from the Raley’s and Starbucks, which opened at 6 am and 5:00 am respectively. Chris Jacobson states he doesn’t know when Susan left that morning because he had already left for the gym at what he believes was around 5:30 am. But remember he got home after 7:00 that morning, probably around 7:15 to 7:30 am he thinks, and he says Susan was already gone. That leaves about an hour and a half to two hour window Susan could’ve left. Sunrise that morning was at 6:08 am.

Another potential issue with the abduction theory is there are two banks and a jewelry store in this shopping center, all establishments known for having security cameras. Why would a kidnapper or kidnappers choose a parking lot with at least three establishments known for having security cameras and a steady stream of people coming in and out regularly? Could robbery have been the motivation? Typically thieves have no interest in kidnapping their victims; they want to grab their victim’s valuables and go. But that isn’t always the case.

28 years earlier in Placer County, in 1985, there was an abduction of a 68 year old woman from a grocery store parking lot just 15 minutes away from Roseville in Auburn, CA. Mary Lloyd was abducted while waiting in the parking lot for the Safeway grocery store to open. Witnesses said a man who appeared to be in his 40s either struck or stabbed Mary Lloyd and then dragged her into her own car and took off. Her body was found a few weeks later about 10 miles away in Applegate, CA. Law enforcement believes she was killed shortly after she was abducted. Despite it still being considered an open case, Auburn Police Dept says they believe they know who killed Mary Lloyd and that her killer died in prison well before 2013. Mary’s murderer took her car after he dumped her body and he drove it down to North Hollywood, which law enforcement believes was the motive for that crime. In Mary’s case there were witnesses to her abduction, despite it being a smaller town, and they found her body within a few weeks of the crime.

Is it possible Susan was carjacked at home? Her husband state she always parked her car in the garage. Even if someone were to have been hiding in her garage waiting for her and then taken her with them when they stole her car, why would they drop her car off at the very shopping center she was supposed to be at that morning and park in the same area she normally parked in and then only take her and not the car? Law enforcement has never publicly stated whether Susan’s carseat was found adjusted for her height when her car was found.

If robbery was the motivation for Susan’s disappearance then why weren’t Susan’s credit cards ever used? The thieves would’ve had a full nine to ten hours to charge whatever they wanted before she was reported missing. Is it possible something went wrong and the thief ended up taking Susan and then panicked and never used the cards?

Another potential issue with the abduction theory is the wallet. Why would a kidnapper grab Susan and her wallet? Remember her son Kevin said Susan never would’ve left her purse in her car and she never would’ve just grabbed her wallet to run into a store. So that means the kidnappers would’ve had to have either taken Susan’s wallet out of her purse or asked her to do it and then left the purse and her car, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. And if Susan was kidnapped, that means the kidnapper also had to throw her wallet out of the car window as they drove away from the shopping center, which you’d think would be the last thing someone would want to do to draw attention to themselves if they have a kidnap victim in their car. Of course, Mary’s Lloyd’s abductor didn’t seem to care who saw him committing his crime, so criminals trying to remain inconspicuous is not always the case.

Is it possible Susan was abducted and her purse was left in her unlocked car and some opportunist took her wallet out of her car then dumped it after taking out the cash and credit cards? It is. But how many thieves would spend the time fumbling through a purse for a wallet in an unlocked car in a busy parking lot when the owner could return at any minute? Unless that wallet was sticking partway out of the purse, wouldn’t you just open the car door, grab the purse, and go? It seems like most thieves wouldn’t waste their time trying to decipher what is of value and what isn’t in that situation. And it really doesn’t seem likely they’d drop the item they’d stolen onto a nearby busy public sidewalk. It would be interesting to find out if law enforcement found any unknown fingerprints or DNA on the wallet.

I wondered when I went out and walked the parking lot, then crossed the intersection, and walked through Mahany Park, if it was possible Susan decided to go for a walk that morning and fell or was injured in the park or fields behind it and was somehow missed in the subsequent searches. Mahany Park has a 5 – 6 ft wide creek running through it with reeds growing so thick out of it you can barely see the water in many parts. Is it possible Susan had some sort of medical emergency and fell into the creek and was just never found? Her husband Chris says the private investigators hired a diver to search through parts of the creek and that Susan never would’ve walked across the street to get to that park due to her social anxiety. Remember, Susan didn’t like being outside or walking outside unless she was walking her dog with Chris. He says she wore out three treadmills walking twice a day in her home. I, myself, have a very mild amount of social anxiety compared to what Susan seemed to experience on a daily basis and it was uncomfortable for me to have to walk across the intersection in order to get from the shopping center to Mahany Park. So I drove. If her body did somehow end up in that park or in the fields, one thing I noticed while I was there was the number of people walking their dogs, some not on leashes. For those of you who own a dog and live in any sort of a rural setting you know that dogs just have a radar and a nose for dead animals. If there’s something out there that they can smell and find, they will bring it back to you. It seems like if Susan had died in that park or field, someone or someone’s dog would’ve come across her by now.

There another theory that is prevalent both locally and in the internet sleuthing community and that is Susan’s husband did something to harm her and then staged her disappearance. Although statistically this happens more often than any of the other scenarios, one of the people who knows Chris Jacobson best says he does not believe his father is capable of such an act. Kevin says he has never known his father to be a violent person with anger or mood issues and that his dad is a passive man. He also states that law enforcement took a pretty hard look at Chris not just once, but twice. Roseville PD says that the family has always been cooperative with them, including letting them search their home and computer, and that Chris has agreed to talk to them whenever they’ve asked. The only thing Chris Jacobson has not agreed to is a polygraph test after being advised by a lawyer not to take one. And, although I can see why people would be suspicious of someone who refuses to take a polygraph, anyone who has ever watched even one episode of a true crime show knows that polygraphs can be unreliable, and due to their inaccuracies they can steer the investigation in the wrong direction, sometimes all the way through to the end of a trial. Law enforcement has not named Chris Jacobson as a suspect or a person of interest in his wife’s disappearance. And, according to Chris Jacobson, they have also not ruled him out. Despite people in both communities wanting justice for Susan if a crime has, in fact, been committed, it’s important to remember Susan’s family members are all victims in this situation as well, until law enforcement says otherwise. Law enforcement has never reported that they found anything in the Jacobson home that would lead them to believe a crime was committed there. And Kevin Jacobson says Roseville Police told him that they have ruled out foul play. Chris Jacobson, on the other hand says that this is inaccurate, Roseville Police has not ruled out foul play. While there’s no way to know who is responsible for Susan’s disappearance until law enforcement has brought their investigation to a conclusion, there are issues with this theory as well. For one, although crimes, of course, can be committed anywhere, as was just mentioned, law enforcement did not report finding anything in the Jacobson home that lead them to believe a crime had been committed there. And two, if Chris Jacobson was responsible for the disappearance of his wife, why would he park her car in the same row as the Raley’s camera, in a shopping center with two banks which are known for having cameras? Is it possible he knew ahead of time none of these cameras would catch him? If Kevin was correct about where Susan’s car was found it just seems like such a risk to leave a car where you’d possibly end up on camera.

The last couple of theories involve well known serial killers in the area, one of them being the Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, who once worked a few miles away from the Raley’s shopping center where Susan went missing; and the the other, Israel Keyes, who has a family connection to the area. Joseph DeAngelo was 68 years old at the time of Susan’s disappearance but according to his neighbors DeAngelo was still very active even up until last year when he was arrested. Neighbors say he was often outside working in his yard and that he was in pretty good shape for his age. But DeAngelo’s victims were all attacked at their homes. It just doesn’t seem likely he changed his MO after 40 years and started kidnapping women from grocery store parking lots. But it will be interesting to see what other crimes investigators are able to connect him. Israel Keyes has been in Placer County numerous times visiting family. And up until his capture he was known to travel around the country to commit his murders, sometimes even arriving years ahead of time and burying murder kits. But Israel Keyes committed suicide in prison in December of 2012 so there’s no way he could’ve been involved in Susan Jacobson’s disappearance.

Despite the fact that there are flaws with all the theories out there regarding Susan Jacobson’s disappearance, one of them has to be correct.

*Sad music starts*

On May 1st of this year Susan Jacobson will have been gone six years. Community members have moved on and many don’t even remember her name when you ask them. Susan’s family, like all other missing person’s families, has had no other choice but to continue on with their lives. Her son, Kevin, has had two more children since the birth of his first daughter and has been busy with his wife raising all of them. But he says he thinks about his mom every day once things quiet down. Susan’s husband Chris has had to begin the process of petitioning the courts to have Susan declared dead, which in California, you can do after the person has been missing for at least five years.

*”Sequence” by Bortex starts*

Susan Jacobson was last seen on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 by her husband Chris Jacobson around 5:30 am. The last time anyone besides Chris saw Susan was on Thursday, April 25th in Danville, CA when Susan had a hair appointment with her hairdresser and visited with her son. Susan’s son believes Susan was also acknowledged by a neighbor a couple days before she went missing. According to Chris Jacobson, the last person to speak with Susan besides him was a worker at Round Table Pizza the Saturday before she went missing when Susan called to order a pizza that Chris assumes she had delivered while he was at work. Law enforcement has never publicly stated whether Susan was captured on video inside any stores on the morning she disappeared. Susan is 4’11, 95 lbs with shoulder length brown hair and green eyes. She was known to drink a lot of iced tea and would frequently carried a cup of it around with her. She was last seen wearing gray sweatpants and a gray zip-up sweatshirt but it is believed she changed into jeans and kept her sweatshirt on before she left the house that morning. She is also believed to have been wearing a Mickey Mouse visor when she disappeared. If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Susan Marie Jacobson please call the Roseville Police Dept. at 916-774-5072

Please remember to follow our podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And if you’ve enjoyed Placer Unsolved please be sure and leave a 5 star review on your favorite podcast directory.

*”Sequence” continues to end*

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