Pair sought in Seymour slaying


A Seymour man was shot and killed in his apartment in downtown Seymour early Thursday, and police are searching for two people linked to his death.

Police Chief Bill Abbott said North Vernon residents Daniel L. Combs, 32, and Jessica L. Jarrell, 21, are being sought in the shooting death of the 42-year-old in the 200 block of North Chestnut Street. The man’s name was not released Thursday pending notification of relatives.

Abbott said police believe the man was robbed of cash and those involved left the area in a stolen 2006 blue PT Cruiser. The victim’s roommate called police to report the shooting at 6:05 a.m. Thursday.

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The pair were last seen in the Cruiser, which had after-market black rims and a license plate with 802LWP, heading north on State Road 11 toward Columbus. Abbott said the two are armed and dangerous and people should call their local law enforcement agency rather than confront them.

Jarrell and Combs, who are dating, had mentioned to others that they might leave the state, Abbott said.

An autopsy was scheduled to be conducted at 7:30 a.m. today at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Louisville, Kentucky, Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler said. He will attend the autopsy.

Abbott said police have yet to determine a motive for the homicide because there are many pieces to the investigation, including drugs, specifically methamphetamine, and marijuana.

“There are several different avenues — there’s relationships between four people, there’s definitely drugs involved, and there was cash taken from the victim,” Abbott said.

Police have been able to determine that the events that led to the homicide began when the victim, his roommate, Combs, Jarrell and another witness were all together in the victim’s second-floor apartment on North Chestnut Street early Thursday. Abbott said some or all of them may have been doing drugs.

“They are all acquaintances,” Abbott said of the five.

Abbott said the witness and the roommate heard two gunshots, and that’s when cash was taken from the dead man and two people left in the PT Cruiser.

The vehicle belongs to Amanda Grajales. She told police she loaned the vehicle to the man a week ago.

Abbott said the victim was shot once with a bullet from a chrome and silver handgun that has yet to be located. Police said they believe the pair took it with them when they fled. Abbott said he could not release who pulled the trigger.

The victim’s roommate called 911 after the shots were fired, and the victim was still breathing but died on scene, police said.

Investigators will continue to process evidence from the apartment and search for the suspects.

“We have contacted Columbus Police Department and several addresses in Jennings County,” Abbott said.

He said drug usage, even in one’s home, can lead to a violent situation.

“We are a society tolerating illegal drugs and accepting that behavior,” he said. “Even if it’s used in a personal environment, at any point in time it can turn violent.”

Abbott said the victim had lived in the apartment for four to six weeks with his roommate, who wasn’t a permanent resident there.

Jarrell’s criminal history includes a conviction of battery on a law enforcement officer from an incident May 2, 2012, in Jennings County, according to court documents.

Combs was charged with attempted theft in September and bonded out of the Jennings County Jail on Feb. 3. He most recently was convicted of disorderly conduct and public intoxication in Jennings County, according to court documents.

In the past four years, Vicky S. Wade and Tabitha Gayle Brock were slain in the Seymour area, but it has been decades since a murder occurred in the downtown area of Seymour.

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