Details of Disappearance
Jessie was last seen in Glendora, California on March 29, 1996. She has never been heard from again. She took no clothing with her when she disappeared, but nevertheless, for many years both law enforcement and her mother believed she had run away from home and possibly remained in the local area after her disappearance.
Investigators now believe Jessie was raped and murdered on the day of her disappearance and her body dumped off Dana Point. Michael Forrest Thornton and and Janeen Marie Snyder are the prime suspects in her presumed death. Photos of them are posted with this case summary. Thornton was Jessie's mother's employer.
In March 2006, the couple was convicted of killing a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Las Vegas, Nevada in 2001. Her body was found several weeks later in Rubidoux, California. During the trial's penalty phase, a psychiatric expert who interviewed Snyder testified she had confessed Jessie's murder to her.
Snyder allegedly told the witness she and Thornton had drowned Jessie in a bathtub before dismembering her remains and dumping them in the Pacific Ocean. Thornton and Snyder were sentenced to death for the Nevada murder, but have never been charged in connection with Jessie's case. In 2010, the author Kathy Braidhill published a book about them, titled Beauty Killers.
Jessie was raised by her aunts in the South Bay area of California and attended Hermosa Valley School. She moved in with her mother at the age of twelve. Her relatives describe her as a kind and religious teenager. Her remains have not been found and no charges have been filed in her presumed death. Glendale, California police are investigating.