Details of Disappearance
Jacoby disappeared from his father's Gretna, Pennsylvania home on July 1, 1991. When his father said goodbye to him, he thought he was going to the local high school, where he worked odd jobs. He never returned, however. He had never stayed away from home overnight before without letting his parents know.
The next day, Jacoby's girlfriend got a letter in the mail from him. It had been mailed locally and said in it he wrote that he had been struggling with some things for two years and was leaving, and that probably she would never see him again. He asked her to forward the letter to his father, and apologized for getting her in the middle of the situation.
A few days later, a second letter arrived, this one from Portland, Maine. Jacoby wrote that he'd driven 700 miles to Maine and had camped out overnight where he could hear the loon calls. He said he had "made a mess of things" and added, "I’m not where I want to be yet; I will be in a day or two." He stated that if he ever returned, it would be of his own volition, but he also said that by the time she received the letter he would have been dead for two days. It was signed with his initials "TJ", which Jacoby rarely used.
Jacoby's girlfriend believes the "mess" he referred to was his family; he was distressed that it had broken up. His parents had divorced in 1980. Three days prior to his disappearance his mother, whom he was close to, had moved away to another state. Meanwhile his sister had moved out to attend graduate school, and his high school classmates had all graduated were all going their separate ways attending different colleges or joining the military.
Jacoby's loved ones informed the police in Pennsylvania and Maine about his disappearance, but there was no evidence as to where in Maine he actually was. In November 1991, his car was found abandoned at a public parking area near Millinocket Lake in Millinocket, a small town in central Maine.
Authorities determined the vehicle had been parked in the same place since August of that year. Locked inside the glove compartment were Jacoby's wallet and car keys. There was also some loose change, including Canadian money. A backpack, sleeping bag, tent, a second set of car keys, a .38 caliber pistol and Jacoby's ten-speed Shogun bicycle were missing.
Later that month, Jacoby's sleeping bag and tent were found in a trash bin at the Twin Hills picnic area on Milo Road. The find was not reported to police until November 1992, the day after his bicycle was discovered in a remote wooded area between a state road and a private logging road, about a mile north of Millinocket Lake. When the bicycle was located, it appeared to have been thrown up over an embankment, as if hastily abandoned. The pistol has never been recovered.
According to Jacoby's family, he enjoyed outdoor pursuits such as hunting and fishing as well as sports, and was not involved with alcohol or drugs. He had graduated high school that year and had been accepted to Juniata College, where he planned to play football. They were baffled by his sudden departure for Maine and had had no idea he was having any problems.
One theory is that he planned to hike the Appalachian Trail, the entrance of which is in Baxter State Park, not far from Millinocket. There were possible sightings of him on the trail, but none were confirmed.
The Millinocket area is frequented by hunters, hikers and fishermen, and as none of them have found Jacoby's body in the intervening years, his family hopes he is still alive. His case remains unsolved.