Police Say Pilot Later Committed Suicide
Police say it began on
September 30th when 20-year old pilot Jacob Jones and
23-year old Michael Keyser lured 16-year old Kimberly Holton
to a motel room in Delaware. There, officers say the two men
suffocated her -- perhaps with a pillowcase.
Delaware and New Jersey State Police say Jones, an aviation
student at Delaware State University, then flew a Cessna 172 from
the Aero Club at Dover Air Force Base to dump the girl's body. Lt.
Col. Jon Anderson, the chief of public affairs at Dover AFB, said
Jones had been an Air Force Junior ROTC member in high school.
That's how he could join the Base Aero Club, get on the base and
arrange to use a 172.
Police say Jones was able to get the body, bound in duct tape
and chained to cinder blocks, on board the aircraft without
attracting attention. He departed the base at 11:45 pm and returned
at 1 am. Police speculate Jones slowed the aircraft, opened the
right-side door, rolled a bit to the right and pushed the body
"He could have slowed the plane down, banked it and rolled her
out," said Delaware State Police Lt. Joseph Aviola Jr.
"Everybody is absolutely flabbergasted he did it in an Aero Club
airplane," Anderson said.
The Press of Atlantic City quotes Carlos Holmes, a
spokesman for Delaware State, who said Jones (below, right)
was an aircraft systems major.
"He was steps ahead of most students here. He had a private
pilot's license, an instruments license and a flight-instructor
license. This was a shock to us and to the Airways Science
Department," Holmes said.
But Delaware and New Jersey investigators say the plot began to
fall apart when the body hit the water. The impact shattered the
"When she hit the water, the cinder blocks broke apart. She was
vertical in the water because of chains wrapped around her feet.
She was like a buoy," Aviola said.
Ahhh, the chains. They were the key to unlocking the case.
Detectives carefully analyzed the composition of the chains and
traced their manufacture to a company that sells its wares to
Lowe's Home Improvement stores.
So investigators picked
a Lowe's in Dover and started watching videos. After seemingly
endless hours, they spotted two men, one of them Jones, buying 15
feet of chains and cinder blocks. That was September 30th, just
hours before Kimberly was murdered.
Police questioned Jones. It turns out he was dating the victim's
foster-sister -- Kimberly Holton. Delaware State Police said in a
"Detectives believe Jones and Keyser murdered Holton because
Holton and her foster stepsister strongly disliked each other and
that the foster stepsister did not like Holton being around.
Detectives also know that Jones disliked Holton because she
openly teased and embarrassed him in front of her foster
Police interviewed Jones on October 17th. Based partly on that,
they arrested Keyser. Apparently faced with imminent arrest, the
aviation student went to his parents' house and killed himself with
Keyser is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and
abusing a corpse. Police say Keyser tried to hang himself by his
shoelaces while in jail. He was hospitalized but is now back in
Kimberly's foster father is accused of abusing her while she was
in his care, but is not a suspect in the murder.
Kimberly's body is now being tested by the New Jersey Medical
Examiner's office to see what may have happened to her in her final
hours of life.