Prosecutor: Montoursville Man Confesses to Murder

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. -- The ex-boyfriend of a woman who went missing nearly 16 years ago in Lycoming County has confessed to murder.

Jade Babcock, 49, was arrested this week for the abuse of a corpse that is believed to be Brenda Jacobs.

Babcock was arrested Tuesday in connection to human remains found in a storage facility in northeast Philadelphia. Initially, Babcock was charged with abuse of corpse, but according to authorities, Babcock has confessed to the killing of Jacobs.

According to, 37-year-old Brenda Jacobs went missing in December of 2003. Police have not confirmed that the remains found are that of Jacobs, but based on Babcock's confession, authorities believe the remains are that of the missing woman.

Those who knew Jacobs in her hometown of Montoursville are shocked to hear the news.

"It's a big shock. We've talked about her over the years, wondering what happened to her, how she could just up and leave her kids and her family. We knew something happened because that's just not Brenda," said Danielle Poust of Williamsport.

"I just couldn't imagine her going missing because she just loved her children and always wanted to talk about them, and we did things together and I just couldn't believe she went missing," said Ruthie Watts of Williamsport.

Poust says the news left her sick to her stomach.

"I'm glad that we know now, that everybody knows now. Her family can get that closure, but this still doesn't make it any better. It doesn't make it any easier."

Babcock, who is also from Montoursville, made quite the impression on his neighbors. One describes him as being "a hot mess."

"As shocking as it is, and it is rather shocking for us around here, it's not surprising," said Kenneth DiRocco of Montoursville.

Friends of Jacobs say she was one of the most down-to-earth people you could know.

"Very outgoing, all about her children, all about family and friends. She enjoyed doing things. She wasn't a person who stayed cooped up inside. She was a very fun-loving person."

Babcock is currently locked up, being held without the possibility of bail. Homicide charges are expected from the Lycoming County District Attorney's Office in the coming days.

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