The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) celebrated the relocation of a convicted killer last week by eating cake and ice cream.
In a public Facebook post, NCSO announced that Kimberly Kessler was transported from the Nassau County Jail to the Florida Women’s Reception Center in Marion County, Florida, on Friday. There, she will begin her life sentence without parole for the 2018 “disappearance and presumed death” of 34-year-old Joleen Cummings, reported First Coast News.
According to the outlet, Kessler and Cummings briefly worked together at Tangles Hair Salon in Yulee, Florida. In May 2018, however, Cummings disappeared.
Cummings was officially reported missing on May 14 after failing to show up for work, said First Coast News. Then, on May 15, her car was found “abandoned” in a Home Depot parking lot. But surveillance footage showed Kessler ditching the car there on May 13.
Kessler was charged with auto theft and held on a $500,000 bail. However, she was eventually indicted on a murder charge.
“Evidence showed that Kessler purchased several items such as an electric carving knife, zip ties and garbage bags used to clean up the crime scene and dispose of the body,” First Coast News reported. Police also found Cummings’s blood on Kessler’s salon scissors and her boots.
Though Cummings’s body has never been recovered, Kessler was found guilty of murdering Cummings in December 2021.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said that Kessler was under their “care, custody and control” in the three-and-a-half years leading up to her transfer on Friday. In that time, she developed a reputation of being a troublesome inmate.
Fox 19 Now stated that she’d once thrown feces at the jail staff and “[smeared] it on herself.” Kessler also had, at one point, gone on a two-month “hunger strike” and made multiple suicide attempts in the weeks leading up to her relocation, according to News 4 Jax.
“The costs borne by the taxpayers of Nassau County for her custody since her arrest have been staggering,” read NCSO’s Facebook post. “A conservative estimate cost for her suicide watch, medical costs, transportation and food amounted to over $215,000.”
The sheriff’s office and the Nassau County Jail staff are “glad they no longer have to deal with her.” So, they threw an “incarceration and relocation celebration.”
“We’re going to celebrate her home going, because her new home, for the rest of her life, until she takes her last breath, is going to be Florida State Prison,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper told News 4 Jax.
Hundreds of community members took to the comments section of NCSO’s Facebook post to congratulate everyone on a “job well done.”
“I absolutely love this. Job well done Sheriff Leeper and everyone involved,” wrote Michael,
“I can’t imagine what y’all went through! Thank you, Sheriff Leeper and staff! You’re awesome!!” exclaimed Fran.
Deborah added: “Appreciate all of your hard work. Prayers for the family of Joleen & to all those police officers.”