10 people still missing
Ten people remain on Nassau County’s missing persons list, leaving unanswered questions for their family members.
Jackie Markham was 51 years old when she was last seen December 14, 2000 at the former Eckerd Drug Store in Callahan just after 7 p.m.
Markham was scheduled to leave on a trip to the Tampa area the next afternoon to celebrate an early Christmas with family, but she never arrived.
Nearly 18 years later, son-in-law Todd Myrick said the family still feels the loss of its matriarch.
Since her disappearance, two more grandchildren and one great-grandchild have joined the family. If she is still alive, Markham celebrates her 69th birthday today.
“The wounds are still very open,” he told the Record via telephone Aug. 15.
“After all these years, there is nowhere for the family to go and grieve or remember Jackie. There is no place that is her, like, grave. This is a wound that doesn’t ever heal. The scab breaks open every time we think about another family that is faced with the tragedy we have endured or we hear about some feminine remains that were found in Nassau County. We feel like we have hurt enough for everyone. Imagine if your mother was on ‘CSI’ or another crime-related TV show.”
The family is reminded of the tragedy each day.
“Every holiday, every birthday, every special day, every ordinary day, there is something that comes up that we want to share with her and can’t – Mother’s Day, Dec. 14 (the day she disappeared) Christmas and Aug. 29 (her birthday), are especially difficult,” Myrick wrote. “Imagine looking in your mailbox for a birthday card that is never going to come.”
Myrick said that they may never see a resolution.
“We are absolutely convinced that an excavation will happen and a body will come up or there will be a deathbed confession or we’ll never know,” he added.
A case still capturing headlines, Joleen Rebecca Cummings was last seen leaving Tangles Hair Salon in Fernandina Beach May 12.
The 34-year-old was supposed to collect her children from her estranged husband in Hilliard May 13 but never showed.
Mother Anne Johnson reported her missing the next day.
Cummings’ vehicle was located in the Home Depot parking lot in Yulee May 15.
Kimberly Kessler is a suspect in the case and is in custody in the Duval County Jail. The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI and several law enforcement agencies have joined in the search for Cummings. Sheriff Bill Leeper has said that Cummings’ body could be anywhere. In July search teams looked in the Chesser Island Road Landfill in Charlton County, Ga. for evidence.
Eight months have already passed since Darryl Roger Johnson, 65, went missing Jan. 10.
Daughter Meranda Johnson said that he was released from the Baker Correctional Institution in Sanderson Jan. 7.
Her niece was the last family member to see him. She saw him the next afternoon at his Hilliard home at 27312 Rooster Lane.
“We really don’t know that much of anything,” Johnson said Aug. 15.
Her dad did not have a cell phone, but he also wasn’t the type to wander off without letting anyone know. She has posted his photograph on social media and contacted family members in West Virginia, but she still hasn’t heard from him.
“I’m just really hoping that someone will come forward with information,” Johnson said. “We have a story of what happened. We just hope they grow a conscience and come forward.”
Travis Daniel Church went missing Jan. 9. The 25-year-old was “apparently involved in a foot pursuit” with a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and was tracked to a residence on Owens Farm Road in Yulee and hasn’t been seen or heard from since, according to Leeper.
David Wade Shearin, 36, was last seen Sept. 21, 2017. The NCSO did not receive a report of the Yulee resident’s disappearance until Feb. 14.
“He was supposedly checking himself into an unknown alcohol/drug rehab facility and would not have contact with his family for 60 days,” Leeper wrote via email.
Mom Elizabeth Monroe said that Shearin contacted her by telephone on April 12 and July 12 of this year. She said that many people have expressed concern about his welfare.
“He is safe,” Monroe said Aug. 15. “Someone reached out to us. I don’t know where he’s at, but I assume he’s safe. He did reach out to me.”
Monroe said that she was told by the NCSO that Shearin would not be removed from the missing persons list until he contacts authorities himself.
Rick Earl Taylor was last seen July 5, 2017 walking along Dyal Road in Callahan.
Taylor had a history of “attempting to harm himself,” according to Leeper.
His family placed crosses around Callahan and Hilliard on the one-year anniversary of his disappearance to remind the public that he was still missing. Crosses were placed on behalf of Cummings as well.
Christopher Lawrence Pollen hasn’t been seen or heard from in nearly two years. Pollen was 23 years old when he was last seen in the Meadowfield Bluffs Road area of Yulee on Sept. 18, 2016.
“He was recently terminated from his job and suffered from an unknown mental disability,” Leeper wrote. “He had a prior issue of going missing for periods of time. His wallet, car keys and cell phone were found in his vehicle at his residence.”
Pollen had also attempted suicide in the past, according to Leeper.
Richard James Rider, Jr. was last seen Oct. 11, 2011 at Dayspring Village in Hilliard, where he was a resident. Originally from Liberty Township, Ohio, Rider is believed to have walked away from the facility.
After receiving a birthday package in the mail he may have started walking in an attempt to get home, according to the sheriff.
Also missing is Theresa Maynette Maxwell. She was 44 years old when she was last seen Dec. 28, 2002 by her roommate as she walked away from her Hilliard residence. She lived in unit No. 7 of Patriot Rentals on Testone Lane.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has a Nassau-related unsolved case with the disappearance of Windy Gail Dudra Fox. She grew up in Callahan and has been missing since August 2006. Fox was last seen by her former fiancé at Ramona Flea Market in Jacksonville. According to reports, the two got into a fight and he told police he left with friends.