Authorities in North Carolina will not seek the death penalty for Nate Summerfield, the Ashland man accused of killing his girlfriend Lynn Jackenheimer last year.
ASHLAND, Ohio - Hugging, crying and holding hands, the family of Lynn Jackenheimer said they're relieved U.S. Marshals caught Nate Summerfield, who's wanted for their daughter's murder. At the same time, their relief is mixed with sadness.
"I just thank God that they got him," said Jackenheimer's father, Raymond Johnson, during an impromptu interview before the news conference detailing Summerfield's arrest began.
"Now it's (Nate's) turn to sit and watch everything. I knew sooner or later, as soon as U.S. Marshals stepped in, this day would come. It just took a lot longer than I thought."
U.S. Marshals knocked on Raymond's door at 10:30 a.m. to tell the family Summerfield was captured in a hotel, the Legacy Inn in Wadsworth, where he had stayed just one day. Tips led authorities to the Medina County location.
At the Wednesday news conference, roughly 100 family and friends attended, to show their support and love for Jackenheimer and her family. Some wore "WANTED: Nathan Summerfield" shirts with WANTED scratched out and captured written above. Others wore white shirts with purple ribbons, in the fight against domestic violence. Some even wrote about the news on their cars.
(Click here to see photos relating to Summerfield's arrest: http://on.wews.com/MyVbZW)
When asked if the arrest of Summerfield was closure for the family, Raymond said no.
"I don't care if it's the death penalty, that's what (Nate) deserves now. He can sit long enough in there, in prison, and think about it. It could be his turn to go. It's his turn to go away."
The 33-year-old mother of two went on vacation with Summerfield, her estranged boyfriend, to the Outer Banks in North Carolina over the Fourth of July weekend. Jackenheimer never returned home. Summerfield came back with the kids, dropped them off at a family friend's house and disappeared.
On July 14, a construction worker in Frisco, N.C. found Jackenheimer's body in a bag. Experts determined she was stabbed and strangled to death, prompting a monthlong nationwide manhunt for Summerfield.
A friend of Jackenheimer's, who created the Facebook page, Help Find Nate Summerfield, was completely overwhelmed by the news.
"It's a relief. The first thing that came over me was chills and I cried," said the friend who asked she not be identified.
"I don't know anything about Nate, but for him to stay so close to home, I was shocked. A lot of us already had the feeling that he was close because of his son and the limited funds he had, but for him to be that close, was shocking."
Jackenheimer and Summerfield had a child together, 3-year-old Leland.
"Now they (the kids) don't have a mom or dad. That's what's sad. And Leland has no idea what's going on," said Jackenheimer's sister Tasha Holland.
"We don't have to look over our shoulder anymore, living in fear of Summerfield," Jackenheimer's mom, Lora Johnson, said. "But there are still a lot of questions left unanswered,"
"I don't want to accuse Nate's parents of knowing anything. As a parent, I find it strange that his family hasn't even made a comment or reached out to him or apologize to Lynn's family or offer help," said the friend of Jackenheimer.
She doesn't feel the arrest of Summerfield is justice for Jackenheimer, but she thinks that day will come.
"Lynn will have justice when Nate's sentenced. His arrest is a step forward, a huge triumph, but justice will be served the day he's sentenced."
If family and friends could talk to Summerfield, they all want to know the answer to one question.
"I would ask him why? What was the point of murdering Lynn? You took your son's mother, a daughter, a friend, a great person from us. Why?" the friend said.
"There are things I'd like to say, but we'll wait until that time comes," said Raymond.
The Dare County Sheriff's Office in N.C. said it could be one year before Summerfield goes on trial. Currently, Summerfield is behind bars in Medina County awaiting extradition to North Carolina, where the crime occurred.
As for the Help Find Nate Summerfield Facebook page, it will live on until he's sentenced.
United States Marshals from the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force said it was the efforts of the Ashland County community that put Nathan Summerfield, the man accused of killing Lynn Jackenheimer last July, behind bars.
The man accused of killing Ashland mother of two Lynn Jackenheimer was indicted by a North Carolina grand jury for first-degree murder.
The parents of murder suspect Nate Summerfield have filed a motion to intervene in the custody hearing of their 3-year-old grandson, the child of slain Lynn Jackenheimer and imprisoned Nate Summerfield.
Police are looking into the possibility that murder suspect Nate Summerfield of Ashland had an accomplice.
A judge in North Carolina denied bond for Nate Summerfield, who's accused of murdering his estranged girlfriend, Lynn Jackenheimer, while vacationing in the Outer Banks.