December 21st, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Chief Thomas Gilbert
Phone: 856-384-5530 (O) 609-947-5869 (C)
Re.: Arrest in Williamstown Murder Investigation
Gloucester County Prosecutor Charles Fiore is pleased to announce the expedient arrest on December 20, 2019 of John Jacobs (DOB: 10/21/1992) of Millville, N.J. Jacobs is charged with First Degree Murder, Arson, Hindering Apprehension, and Obstruction of Justice, in connection with the Murder of Sahlena Blackwell-Jacobs.
On Thursday December 19th, 2019, at approximately 3:30 pm, the Monroe Township Police Department was dispatched to 1920 South Black Horse Pike, Williamstown, NJ for the report of a 2002 Black Chevy Trail Blazer, registered to John Jacobs, which displayed evidence of recent fire damage. This vehicle was sought in connection with the suspected murder of Blackwell-Jacobs. The Monroe Township Police Department, in conjunction with the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office arrived at the scene and confirmed that Blackwell-Jacobs was deceased in the vehicle.
An autopsy conducted by Gloucester County Medical Examiner, Dr. Gerald Feigin, determined that the cause of death for Ms. Blackwell-Jacobs was “blunt neck trauma” and he ruled the manner of death as a “homicide.”
An exhaustive and relentless investigation was conducted into the initial disappearance and subsequent murder of Blackwell-Jacobs, leading to the prompt identification of Jacobs and the filing of the noted charges. Multiple law enforcement agencies contributed to the investigation and efforts to apprehend Jacobs, culminating with Jacobs’ arrest by the Millville City Police Department during the evening of December 20, 2019. Efforts to locate and arrest Jacobs over several days spanned multiple jurisdictions within Gloucester, Camden, Cumberland and Atlantic Counties.
“Prosecutor Fiore extends his heartfelt appreciation to the Millville City Police Department, Atlantic and Cumberland County Prosecutors’ Offices, New Jersey State Police, US Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force, the FBI, NJ Transit Police Department, and the Atlantic City, Vineland City, Franklin Township, Woodbury City and Gloucester Township Police Departments. These local/county/state/federal partners, teaming with the GCPO and Monroe Township Police Department, ensured a seamless investigation which smoothly transitioned and maintained a rapid pace across geographical and jurisdictional boundaries. This was an exemplary effort grounded in the tenacity and commitment of a wide array of professional law enforcement officers who share a common goal to serve and protect their fellow citizens. I am also extremely proud of the lead investigators in this case, Detective Brian Lloyd of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office and Detective Kevin Bielski of the Monroe Township Police Department.”
Subsequent to his arrest, Jacobs was transported to the GCPO for processing, and then lodged in the Salem County Jail pending a Detention Hearing.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of his rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State Law.