WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Wheeling law enforcement say it’s one of the most brutal cases they’ve ever seen.
The remains of Trevor Vossen and Lauren Cree-Jenkins, also known as Lulu, were found burned and dismembered in southern West Virginia.
Gerald Jako pleaded guilty earlier this week to killing both in Wheeling in 2018—and now officials have come forward with the evidence they would have presented if the case had gone to trial.
Ohio County’s Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Turak says Jako shot and stabbed Vossen and shot Cree-Jenkins, both at the home of his girlfriend Dana Bowman, with Bowman as a witness.
“The next day she woke up. Mr. Jacob had informed her that he was done. Lauren Jenkins was dead.”Shawn Turak, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Ohio County
Turak says he then dismembered their bodies with a saw, with the aid of another man who officials say was forced into helping him.
Two days later, Jako is said to have driven their remains to Sullivan Road in Beckley, West Virginia, where they were burned.
After 11 days, their remains were discovered, and detectives shared pictures of what they saw.
Bones, blades and shell casings were all found in the burn pile, along with a bag containing Vossen’s and Cree-Jenkins’s fingerprints.
Bones and burned material were also later retrieved behind an abandoned home on South Huron Street on Wheeling Island, and Detective Rob Safreed with Wheeling Police says Bowman attempted to clean up the crime scene in her kitchen.
“She burned some of the flooring that she removed from the kitchen and replaced as well as clothing and other items that were used to clean up. And she took some of those floorboards and threw them over the hill in front of her house into a small ravine.”Detective Sgt. Rob Safreed, Wheeling Police
Following further DNA evidence on his car, Jako was indicted by an Ohio County grand jury in September of 2021.
Later, investigators revealed that Bowman also admitted to two counts of concealment of a deceased human body last April, and would have testified against Jako at his trial.
Turak and the investigators say they were proud to have worked together to solve the case—and didn’t mince words when it came to their thoughts about Jako.
“Here was a very calculating, cold-blooded, not moved by emotion, cold-hearted killer.”Shawn Turak, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Ohio County
Jako now faces two life sentences at his sentencing—as he is already serving 100 years for an armed robbery in Valley Grove.
That sentencing date has yet to be determined.