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Missing New York Woman, 20, Found Dead in Florida After Trip for Rehab

By Zachary Stieber

A 20-year-old New York woman who went missing in Florida in April was confirmed dead on June 3, after results came back on bones recently found in Lantana.

The medical examiner said Jenna Jacobsen’s cause of death was not clear; detectives are investigating the death.

Jacobsen’s father Chris Jacobsen said that she traveled to Florida about a month ago to enter a substance abuse facility in Broward County.

The facility suddenly closed, prompting a transfer to another facility in West Palm Beach. During the transfer, something happened.

“They made it as far as Lake Worth, there was an altercation, and she disappeared,” Chris Jacobsen told WPTV.

He wants justice for his daughter and is urging anyone with information to come forward.

“Please bring them to justice so she can rest easy and we can have closure on this,” said Jacobsen. “To be victimized like this is just beyond words that I can explain.”

Jenna Jacobsen’s sister, Jillian Jacobsen, was also hoping for justice.

“I just hope that whoever was involved and did this to her gets caught,” she told WPBF.

The finding of the bones came about a week after the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office issued a missing person alert, saying Jenna Jacobsen had been missing and was last seen in Lake Worth Beach on April 25.

Jacobsen was seen that day with Zachary Davis, 26, according to probable cause documents obtained by WPBF. Davis had a warrant for his arrest in New York and tried fleeing when police approached. He was eventually arrested but during the commotion, Jacobsen slipped away.

“She was always in contact with us; she knows our numbers. There is no reason why she would not have called; she always does. It was very weird,” said Jillian Jacobson.

Anyone with information was asked to call Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-TIPS.

Homicide Investigation

Detectives have launched a murder probe that seems linked to the situation involving the treatment facilities.

“She was trying to get to a good place and she ended up in a bad neighborhood,” Jacobsen’s aunt, Jean Jacobsen, told Newsday.

Jenna Jacobsen, who graduated high school in 2017, was being treated for opioid addiction off-and-on in facilities, Jean Jacobsen said.

She and Jenna’s father said that the girl wanted to be a veterinarian.

According to a man who traveled with the 20-year-old to Florida, a “patient broker” paid for their plane tickets. The brokers are paid by facilities to get patients to travel to the institutions.

“She was a sweet young girl trying to get help and these patient or body brokers thrive on these people that are the weakest,” Jean Jacobsen said.

Dave Zaiff is the CEO of Healing Properties, a rehab center in Delray Beach, told CBS 12 that the story saddened him.

“When I hear stories like this, it not only causes me to feel some level of sadness,” he said. “It always causes me to ask the question. What aren’t we doing that we can be doing to prevent these sorts of things from happening?”