The blood of a Florida hairdresser, who was reported missing after failing to pick up her children on Mother’s Day last year, was found on the boot and sock of a co-worker who stands accused of killing her, according to authorities.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement DNA analysis found Joleen Cummings’ blood on a boot, sock, pair of scissors and storage locker that belonged to Kimberly Kessler, a co-worker of Cummings who worked at Tangles Hair Salon in Yulee, Florida at the time the mom of three vanished.
Judge James Daniel ordered the State’s Attorney’s Office to release more than 360 pages worth of documents Friday as discovery material in the case that suggest the missing hair dresser met a violent end, according to WJXT.
Images released as part of the discovery effort show a large amount of blood was found in the salon, including on the walls, chairs, cabinets and sink drain. The blood was found to match both Cummings and Kessler, according to the blood analysis. Blood was also found on a bleach bottle and mop at the salon.
Kessler, who has been charged with murder in the case, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
Cummings body has never been discovered but a Nassau County grand jury indicted Kessler, who has used 25 different names and lived in 35 cities before her arrest, for first-degree murder based on the evidence investigators were able to find in the case, WJAX-TV reports.
Part of that evidence includes a Walmart receipt documenting the purchases of 30-gallon trash bags, an electric knife and a large bottle of ammonia. Investigators also discovered surveillance footage of Kessler shopping in a Walmart and purchasing the items listed on the receipt.
The documents also reveal a timeline of events after Cummings was first reported missing by her ex-husband on May 13, 2018.
According to the timeline, after Kessler, who is also known as Jennifer Marie Sybert, discovered law enforcement was at the salon on May 14, she told the owner of the salon she was leaving town and never came into the building, WTLV/WJXX reports.
That same day Cummings’ vehicle was found abandoned in a Home Depot parking lot in Nassau County. Surveillance footage later recovered at the scene showed a figure “dressed in black” walking away from the car at about 1:19 a.m. on May 13. Then at 1:20 p.m. Kessler is seen walking into the Gate Station located at the same shopping center, wearing boots matching those later found by investigators.
On May 16, 2018, Kessler was arrested by authorities. She denied ever being in Cummings’ vehicle or having anything to do with her disappearance. Kessler was found with “obvious injuries” to her face and hands. She told investigators she had sustained the injuries while riding a bike.
Two days later, Detective D.L. Brewer found a storage unit rented under the name “Jennifer Sybert” in Fernandina Beach, Florida that contained the boots and sock that had Cummings’ DNA on them. Her personal gate code was used at the storage garage on May 12, May 13, and several other days.
Kessler’s defense team had argued against the release of the documents, suggesting it could unfairly prejudice a jury pool, but the judge disagreed.
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