It’s a rather odd case. It’s been established that Jessica left town with a 23-year-old guy she knew, Jimmy Hopkins. They spent the night in a hotel, rooming next door to a friend who’d given them a ride. The next day Jimmy and Jessica vanished and their friend’s car with them. The car turned up in California a few weeks later. Jimmy worked at an ice cream store near where the car was abandoned, and witnesses saw a girl with him matching Jessica’s description, but there’s been no firm evidence of her whereabouts since she disappeared from Indiana. Jimmy has long been a suspect in her disappearance. That he is violent there is no doubt: in 2008, he handcuffed his wife and shot her to death before shooting himself. He took a big secret to the grave with him.
I wonder if Jessica might have been sold into prostitution or some such thing. Jimmy had said she was pregnant and they were going to run off and get married. Both Jessica’s mom and her best friend say she wasn’t dating anyone when she disappeared and wasn’t pregnant. She’s been described in various sources as shy and naive — just the kind of teenager pimps like to take advantage of.
Of course, I’m hoping Jessica did not meet with that fate. But there’s a good chance too that she’s dead, and surely that’s worse.