HARALSON COUNTY, Ga. — Investigators are hoping to give a missing woman's case new life - and hopefully uncover new leads - after she went missing nearly 10 months ago.
Jessica Earl, who also goes by Jessica Jones King, was reported missing in early June 2018, and was last seen in Tallapoosa, Georgia, about 60 miles west of Atlanta. Jefferey Odom - who was connected to the case - turned himself over to authorities after being wanted by authorities, but there's still been no sign of the 31-year-old woman.
Haralson County Deputy Chief Joey McSwain with the sheriff's office said Odom allegedly told detectives he had "no knowledge" of Earl's whereabouts after she walked off into a wooded area last summer, allegedly to search for arrowheads.
Odom then apparently told investigators that she had used drugs beforehand and was in an altered mental state. Because of that, he said she had no idea where she could have gone. Odom told authorities he hasn't spoken to or heard from Earl since about June 8 – when she disappeared – and he believed she was safe and either “hiding out” or trying to “dry out” from drugs.
In an update to the case, the Haralson County Sheriff's Office shared newer, more recent photos of Earl - taken within months of her disappearance - in hopes that it would help jog memories of possible sightings.
"These photographs are from Jessica’s Google account," the sheriff's office explained. "We hope that the newer photographs will help in our search for her."
PHOTOS | Jessica Victoria Earl
In addition to sharing the new photos, however, the sheriff's office also wanted to clarify misinformation apparently spreading about Earl's disappearance.
"We have been made aware of a posting that we told a Cold Case Unit out of Florida that Jessica’s disappearance was not foul play. That is not accurate," the sheriff's office wrote on their Facebook page.
Officials said they are not at this time able to rule out foul play with any certainly.
"The organization advised us that they would help us if it was determined foul play," the sheriff's office explained. "They were told a second time that we could not rule out foul play and that it was an active investigation and they declined to help us at that point."
In a previous statement on the case, McSwain said that on the day Earl disappeared witnesses reported she and Odom were seen having an argument. Odom allegedly took her phone and keys before leaving in a vehicle. McSwain said they had also been told by several people that she was trying to get away from Odom before his disappearance.
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The sheriff's office has been working leads since, and said the investigation as it stands today is "extensive," and there is much that they aren't yet comfortable revealing to the public because it is still an active case.
"There are many versions of her disappearance out there, but through Jessica’s phone records, text messages and Facebook messages leading up to that day and on that day, we have a more complete picture of her movements on the day she went missing," explained lead investigator Heather Mecillas, adding that they aren't revealing the timeline in the event that more nefarious factors are at play.
During the course of the investigation, two people were taken into custody: 31-year-old Tyla Toliver of Tallapoosa and 40-year-old Candy Chandler of Villa Rica, Georgia. Both were charged for picking up Odom on June 21 and taking him to a home in Villa Rica for the night, despite knowing he was being sought by law enforcement. Authorities also later arrested Odom's mother 56-year-old Deanna Smith, also for obstruction charges because of false information she reportedly provided to police.
As for the public's frustrations with the lack of updates being shared freely, McSwain assured that investigators are working the case diligently.
"I understand that answers are needed and we are doing everything we can to find them," he said.
In the meantime, investigators say the search continues, three of which have happened in the past three weeks - including one with cadaver dogs.
"No one here has forgotten Jessica," investigators assured. "Our ultimate goal is to bring her home to her family."
The Haralson County Sheriff's Office is still offering a $1,000 reward if she's found. If anyone has any information, they're asked to please contact the sheriff's office at 770-646-2011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.