Crime

Suspects in Pascagoula pawn shop burglary nabbed in Kansas

Jamison Layne Townsend, 35, of Missouri, and her boyfriend, Josh, last name unknown, pictured together on left, Josh on right, are the main suspects in a Pascagoula jewelry store robbery last week. On Monday, Jackson Police Department said it was looking into the couple as possible suspects in a triple homicide at a local pawn shop over the weekend.
Jamison Layne Townsend, 35, of Missouri, and her boyfriend, Josh, last name unknown, pictured together on left, Josh on right, are the main suspects in a Pascagoula jewelry store robbery last week. On Monday, Jackson Police Department said it was looking into the couple as possible suspects in a triple homicide at a local pawn shop over the weekend.

Jamison Layne Townsend and Joshua Garcia, who have been the subject of much attention since it became public they could be linked to a Jackson triple homicide, are in custody in Junction City, Kansas.

Townsend, 35, and Garcia, 37 are the prime suspects in the burglary of Sam’s Jewelry in Pascagoula, Miss.

Pascagoula police believe the couple may be linked to a triple homicide at Bill’s Pawn Jewelry Coin/Stamp Exchange in Jackson, but JPD has denied that they were suspects yet, the Clarion-Ledger reported.

A Geary County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said the sheriff has been debriefing with his investigators this morning and that details should be made available shortly.

The surveillance system at Bill’s was damaged and parts of it were stolen, but above the door and on it remain two cameras which captured a red Dodge Charger at the store on the day of their deaths. Garcia drives a red Dodge Charger that was seen during the Pascagoula crime.

Pascagoula Police Department Lt. Doug Adams said Tuesday that Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over a red Dodge Charger with a paper tag around 11:30 p.m. As the trooper approached the vehicle, the driver fled. He pursued them and lost them on Highway 41, just off interstate 24 in Coffee County, which is between Chattanooga and Murfreesboro.

Garcia is not unknown to the Mississippi correctional system, having been to prison multiple times for offenses in Harrison County. According to prison records, he was convicted of robbery in 1999 and sentenced to five years probation. In 2000, he received three concurrent five year sentences for burglary, armed robbery, and receiving stolen property. In 2006, Garcia was sentenced to four years for burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, and in 2009 he was convicted of grand larceny and burglary of an unoccupied dwelling. He was released on parole in 2014 and was no longer under observation in January of 2015.

Garcia is also wanted in Missouri for unlawful use of a weapon and second degree burglary, according to the Green County Sheriff’s Department website.

It’s not clear how the former nurse and mother of two from Missouri met the convicted felon from Mississippi, but law enforcement sources say they showed up together first a few months ago when there was a traffic accident and Garcia was a passenger in Townsend’s car. Townsend’s license tag, registered to a BMW, was also on a red Dodge Charger with a black hood stripe that would not stop when a police car tried to pull them over in November. The pursuit was called off because of traffic congestion.

Court records show Garcia has lived in Byram and Vancleave at the times of his convictions. Townsend let her nursing license expire last year. They had been staying in the Springfield, Missouri, area. Her LinkedIn account identifies her as having worked at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Blue Springs.

Contact Therese Apel at tapel@gannett.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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