San Diego

Memorial Held in San Diego for Missing Retired Army Captain

Retired U.S. Army Captain Julia Jacobson, 37, was last seen over Labor Day weekend on Aero Drive in San Diego

Loved ones filed into a church in San Diego’s Del Cerro community Friday to say goodbye to a retired Army captain missing since September, believed to be dead.

A memorial was held at St. Therese Parish for Julia Jacobson, 37. Jacobson was last seen on Sept. 2 inside her company car at the corporate offices of 7-Eleven on Aero Drive in Kearny Mesa.

That night, at around 9:30 p.m., she sent a text message to a friend saying she was traveling from Big Bear, California, to Palm Springs, California, with another friend, according to investigators with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD). Julia’s actual location when that message was sent is unknown.

Hours later, a store surveillance camera captured Jacobson in Ontario, California, about 120 miles north of San Diego County. She was accompanied by her dog Boogie, police said. 

On Sept. 7, Jacobson's car was found on Monroe Avenue east of Texas Street in San Diego's University Heights area. This location was about a half-mile away from Jacobson's home. Her family told NBC 7 the car was found with its windows rolled down, at different levels, and the keys still in the ignition. Jacobson’s black purse was found inside, unzipped and with hardly anything in it.

Evidence found in the car led detectives to believe she may have been killed. Police did not release details about what led to their suspicions. 

On Oct. 16, homicide investigators confirmed they had arrested Dalen Larry Ware, 39, Jacobson's ex-husband, in Laveen, Arizona, in connection with her disappearance and death. At his Nov. 6 arraignment, Ware pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder.

To this day, Jacobson's body has not been found and details surrounding her disappearance and death have been limited. Her case is being handled by both the SDPD and the Ontario Police Department.

Gathered in that church Friday, Jacobson's loved ones, including her older brother, Jon Jacobson, sought answers and justice.

"I know justice is going to play its course," Jon Jacobson said.

He fondly remembered his little sister, including the day she was born and how he, then 8 years old, patiently waited to meet her in the hospital. He praised her military career and dedication to serving her country. Jacobson was a veteran of both the Bosnian and Iraqi wars.

Jon Jacobson said he's grateful for the time they shared together.

"I guess the best thing to say is that I’m happier that I knew her than I’m sad that I miss her," he said, holding back tears.

Jacobson's friend, Christine Brosius, served in the military with her in both Germany and Iraq. She said Jacobson will be sorely missed by many.

"This day is very disheartening for many different reasons. She was a great boss to us all," said Brosius. "She was a very positive person, very protective of her soldiers, very protective of her family. (She was) just a good all-around person."

Brosius also said justice for Jacobson must come, some way.

"I want whoever did this to her to pay. I believe God has her back, and they say angels rise. And she’s going to rise and I hope karma gets to whoever did this to her," she added.

Jacobson's family is planning another service for her in her hometown of Bismarck, North Dakota, early next month.

Meanwhile, according to jail booking records, Ware is being held on a bail of $1 million at the Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino County. His next court appearance is set for Jan. 22, 2018.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on Jacobson's case can call the Ontario Police Department at (909) 986-6711, Detective Ruben Espinoza at (909) 395-2894 or Detective Brant Devey at (909) 395-2715.

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