"I started this page because I want everyone to know what has, and hasn't, happened in Jessica's case. It is an injustice to our family, but most of all it is an injustice to Jessica. The missing and murdered cannot cry out for justice. It is the duty of the living to do so for them.
This page is dedicated to my sister Jessica Easterly."
To say Jessica's story started on August 12th 2019 would be an understatement. However, we will start around that time. Jessica confided in her friend Maria she was ready to leave her husband Justin. She was tired of his antics, she was tired of him hitting her, she had had enough and realized she deserved better in life. She made up her mind she was ready to start over!
August 12, 2019: Jessica called Maria 3 times. She was frantic and afraid. She asked Maria to come get her and that she would tell her everything when she got there. Unfortunately, Maria was not able to go get Jessica that day (she lived 2 states away), but they devised a plan for Maria to get Jessica the next day, August 13th, after Maria dropped her kids off at school.
August 13, 2019: No calls from Jessica and no response back when Maria called/text Jessica.
August 14, 2019: Justin messaged Maria, through Jessica’s Facebook account, stating Jessica was missing. He told Maria Jessica left her phone, keys and ID card at home. Maria quickly called New Orleans Police Department to do a welfare check at Jessica’s home.
(see texts in photo gallery below)
August 22, 2019: Jessica's sisters Amanda and Audra, along with their cousin Doug, went to New Orleans to talk to detectives. Before meeting with detectives, they decided to look around Jessica's Lakeview neighborhood to scout out places, so they could organize a future search party. While looking around the streets of Kenilworth and Orleans, they found Jessica's body, just 2.5 blocks from her house. They called the police and Jessica’s body was picked up by the coroner.
September 1, 2019: Alabama police take swab of Mrs. Schmitt’s (Jessica's mother) DNA to send to New Orleans Police. NOPD says they cannot begin an investigation until the body's identification has been confirmed through DNA. Alabama police mail DNA to NOPD.
September 2, 2019: Justin finally calls Jessica's parents for the first time since her disappearance.
October 2019: It is discovered that when NOPD received Mrs. Schmitt’s DNA, NOPD placed it on a desk without sending it to the lab. Reason given: "No one knew where it went."
This delays confirmation of identity, which delays investigation for Jessica.
November 8, 2019: Official confirmation received that the DNA from Jessica’s mother matched the body found. It is, in fact, Jessica.
December 2019: Justin creates two Go Fund Me accounts asking for help to pay for Jessica's funeral. One is under Jessica's legal name and the other is under a name used for their adult content: Vivianne. Justin says on the GoFundMe accounts: "If you donate, you will receive exclusive pics, videos, lingerie and even shoes."
January 15, 2020: Coroner lists cause and manner of death as "undetermined". Jessica's body will be released to Justin.
January 24, 2020: Jessica's step father (Rick Schmitt) and sister (Audra) go to New Orleans to meet with detectives. They are told this is now considered a "cold case".
Later that day, Justin is detained for a 24-hour observation after a woman in a bar (also named Jessica) is approached and given a note by Justin. She said he was acting "crazy" and that he told her his wife's name was Jessica and she committed suicide. He insists she take all of Jessica's clothes. Her coworker recognizes his name from online posts regarding Jessica’s death. (see note in photo gallery below)
January 31, 2020: Coroner’s autopsy report is released. Jessica suffered a fractured nose, broken jaw, broken rib and a broken C4 vertebra (neck).
March 15, 2020: A couple in the Lakeview neighborhood contacts Audra and tells her that they found Jessica's ID card and blanket. Audra calls detective and tells him what the couple found just 15 yards from where they found Jessica's body 7 months earlier. Detective says he wants to talk to the couple about where they found items.
April 7, 2020: Audra calls Lakeview couple to follow up. The couple tells Audra that NOBODY has contacted them, nor has there been any police presence where they found ID and blanket.
April 14, 2020: Audra files formal complaint with the Public Integrity Bureau for "Failing to Properly Investigate the death of Jessica Easterly Durning”.
August 6, 2020: Finally heard back from the Public Integrity Bureau.( 4 months after filing the formal complaint, even though several phone calls and messages were left) Talked to E. Crayton. Informed that an investigation is being conducted for "not properly investigating”
September 1, 2020: The couple in Lakeview, who found Jessica's ID and blanket 7 months after we discovered Jessica's body, texts Audra and says Detective Lunn finally reached out to them about finding ID and blanket.
(It took 170 days to reach out).
September 13, 2020: Jessica’s body has been in the morgue since August 22nd 2019 (388 days) Far too long.
October 20, 2020: Crime scene investigators were called to Jessica's house. They took samples of a futon that was thrown out for trash pick up. Waiting on results
November 27, 2020: We are still waiting on forensics to come back from the futon and headboard that was in Jessica's room thrown out for trash pick up. We are hoping to have it back by the end of the year. Jessica has been in the morgue for 463 days.
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