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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Butler County woman is being charged with first-degree murder in connection to the disappearance of a mother from Florida.
Investigators believe Joleen Cummings is dead, even though they haven’t found her body.
Surveillance video taken from a bank camera shows Cummings’ vehicle driving by a gas station in Yulee, Fla.
Minutes later, Kessler is seen on video walking into the gas station around 1:20 a.m. on May 13. It’s the same day that investigators said Cummings never showed up to pick up her three children.
In an interview with police, the clerk said Kessler told him she had been out with friends that night and she asked him to call her a cab.
“She said something about how she was out with a couple of friends drinking and one of the friend’s ex-boyfriends came around. There had been some kind of problems, she didn’t go into much detail after that,” the clerk said.
She was decked out in all black, and the clerk described her demeanor as irritable as she waited for the taxi.
“She looked anxious, like she kind of thought something was going on, [but] she didn’t want me to leave her alone either,” the clerk said.
Law and safety expert Dale Carson said it’s unusual for somebody to go missing and for somebody connected with it to be dressed all in black. He also believes Kessler was trying to paint a picture with her story to the clerk.
“Now she’s saying, ‘I’m not involved. I’m really kind of a victim and a witness, but something happened and I don’t know anything about it,'” Carson said.
Kessler allegedly told the clerk she was headed to Planet Fitness, but in a separate interview, the cab driver told police he dropped her off about a half mile down the road in a parking lot near a black car.
Deputies said two days later Cummings’ abandoned Ford Expedition was found in a parking lot of a Home Depot about two miles from where the cab driver dropped Kessler off.