RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — September marks seven years since then 21-year-old Keeshae Jacobs vanished from a home near Chimborazo Park in Richmond. Now, the man who police named a suspect in her disappearance has been sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering a Florida woman.
On Sep. 15, Otis Lee Tucker, 35, was given a life sentence in a Jacksonville courtroom in connection to a homicide that took place in Nov 2022.
Court documents showed the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to an apartment complex, where neighbors reported hearing banging and screaming from a nearby residence. Inside the apartment, a woman, identified as 23-year-old Ashley Fowler, was found dead.
“Throughout the apartment, blood was found on the walls, doors, floors, baseboards, and various objects in the room,” the arrest report said. “The defendant had two bags with him, one being a black bookbag that appeared to belong to a female. Inside the bag was a hammer with a wooden handle. The handle appeared to have blood on it.”
Tucker was formally indicted on two felony counts in Florida — murder in the first degree and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
Now, questions are emerging about what this means for the Keeshae Jacobs’ case.
During a press conference last year, Keeshae’s mother, Toni, said she encountered Tucker at the home where Keeshae was last seen. She said he gave her conflicting information that made her suspicious.
T. Jacobs said she listened to Tucker’s sentencing virtually and felt ‘nauseous’ as the details were uncovered.
“Had a slight anxiety attack… my chest got tight. I was full of emotions,” she said. “Once I heard that I was like ‘Oh my God, why did he do that? and my thoughts went to “What did he do to my daughter?”
The Richmond Police Department confirmed with 8News that Keeshae’s case is open and detectives have been in contact with authorities in Jacksonville. However, Jacobs believes that detectives could have moved quicker on the case with the evidence she provided.
“I wish they would’ve listened to me,” T. Jacobs said. “Mrs. Fowler’s daughter would’ve been alive… it’s a possibility Keeshae could’ve been home. It’s a lot of what ifs.”
T. Jacobs is still holding out hope for closure in her daughter’s case.
“I just want him to come clean. He has nothing to lose now. You’re in jail for life for murdering a woman, I just pray he finds the compassion in his heart, if he has any left, just to give me some closure, that’s all I want,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Richmond Police Department Major Crimes Detective C. Key at (804) 646-5984 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.