Ex-boyfriend in court as search for woman enters 4th day

Nassau County 34-year-old reported missing after not picking up children

By Jim Piggott - Reporter, Ashley Harding - Reporter

YULEE, Fla. - The ex-boyfriend of a 34-year-old woman reported missing when she didn't pick up her children on Sunday appeared in a Nassau County courtroom Wednesday morning, but not on any charges related to her disappearance.

Joleen Cummings was last seen leaving her job at Tangles Hair Salon in Yulee at 5 p.m. Saturday. Nassau County deputies say her ex-husband reported her missing after she didn't meet him in Hilliard Sunday to pick up their children for Mother's Day as planned.

Jason Gee, described as Cummings' former boyfriend, was arrested Tuesday on violation of probation of a 2017 drug charge, plus two new charges of possession of a controlled substance. Gee appeared in court Wednesday morning and was ordered held without bond. He'll be back in court next month.

While there are no charges connected to Cummings' disappearance, Sheriff Bill Leeper said Gee has refused to answer any questions about her and demanded a lawyer. Leeper said he is considered a person of interest in the case.

Gee’s father said his son was with him the whole time.

"My son had nothing to do with that girl’s disappearance," said Gee's father, Ricky. "He come out here Wednesday. He has been with me all week long. Saturday, when the girl was supposed to be missing, he was in the house with me all day long."  

Court records show Gee had previous arrests for aggravated battery and battery in Duval County. Two people have taken out domestic violence injunctions against him. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Cummings' Ford Expedition was found in the parking lot of a Home Depot, but there was no sign of the woman. Evidence technicians processed the SUV, then it was towed away.

According to the missing persons report, Cummings' ex-husband told deputies that she had taken off before.

Five days before she vanished, deputies said, they were called to her home regarding a domestic violence situation between Cummings and Gee. The missing persons report said Cummings didn't want Gee to stay at her house because there was a warrant out for his arrest, but he ran away before deputies arrived.

"With everything that was going in their house that we heard all the time, with the banging and breaking of things, that put a red flag up for me," Thompson said.

In 2011, another ex-girlfriend of Gee’s reported similar problems and filed a restraining order against him, according to court records in Jacksonville.  The document shows that while she was with her two young children, Gee assaulted her in her car, forced her neck against the seat, grabbed her phone and smashed it. The report quotes the woman as saying that Gee told her he'd make her life miserable. He later came back to her home and broke dishes around the house, yelling at her and the kids the whole time, the report said. The woman said she believed he did it because he was jealous she was dating someone else.

Ricky Gee doesn't believe that. 

"My son does many things. Hurting another woman he would not do . My son would never hurt a woman," he said.

Cummings, who is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds, has also used the last name "Jensen" in the past, deputies said. She has blue eyes and blonde hair.

Anyone with information that could help authorities find Cummings or who has a means of contacting her is asked to contact Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Detective Herrington at 904-548-4003.

To remain anonymous and report a crime tip, call the First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477). You can also post tips online at fccrimestoppers.com.

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