COCOA, Fla. - A day after family and friends held a vigil in her honor, an autopsy is expected to get underway on the remains of a 31-year-old Cocoa mother of four as detectives continue to piece together clues — including possible DNA evidence — in connection with her death, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
It is the latest development in the case involving Tashaun Jackson, who disappeared Feb. 9 and whose body was discovered six days later, on Friday, along a remote patch of wildland off of Deer Park Road and Nova Road in Osceola County.
“It’s a homicide investigation,” said Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for the Cocoa Police Department.
“The detectives are still working the case,” Martinez said, who did not elaborate on how Jackson was killed.
Since Saturday, detectives have executed several search warrants, including one on a sport utility vehicle and the home of a man involved in a criminal case Jackson was supposed to give a deposition in.
Detectives are looking into whether the disappearance could be connected to a separate case where Jackson was the victim of a sexual battery. The battery case involved a man suspected of entering her home uninvited and touching her without permission.
Jackson was last seen walking out of a 7-Eleven at 947 Dixon Blvd. at around 3 p.m. Feb. 9. She went to the store for a quick errand, leaving her purse at her apartment.
Family members filed a missing person report Feb. 10 and increasingly became concerned, noting Jackson would never leave her four children.
“We tried to explain to police from the very beginning that this was something out of character for (Tashaun). She had never been away from her kids overnight,” said Sh’Mika Scott-Devoe, Jackson’s cousin.
By Tuesday, family members took their worries to the media, holding a press conference and going on Facebook with live streams as speculation over her fate reached a fever pitch.
“In our frustration, we just pushed the story. Right now, our main concern is her children. We’re trying to make sure that life continues. This is unbearable for them, it’s heart -wrenching,” Scott-Devoe said.
Friday night, as word of the body’s discovery became known, family members tearfully took to Facebook to break the news online.
Compounding the tragedy was more news that Tashaun Jackson’s 62-year-old father, Charles Jackson, was killed in an unrelated bicycling crash in Cocoa.
“We talked to the family Saturday after we were notified that he had passed and they told us that they didn’t believe that he knew (her body) had been found yet,” Lt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol said Sunday.
Authorities said the two tragedies were not connected.
“It’s just an unfortunate incident,” Montes said Sunday.
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