Police continue probe into disappearance of city teen

By Jon Moffett

The missing teen is feared dead, police said.

YOUNGSTOWN — Police have not ruled out the possibility of finding Asthen Jackson alive, but the hope is slim.

Officers continue to investigate the disappearance of Jackson, 17, of Parkwood Avenue, who was reported missing by his mother, April Jackson, May 25.

Detective John Kelty, who is handling the case, said the chance of finding Jackson alive is small.

“Our investigation into Ashten Jackson missing has evidence to suggest a homicide,” Kelty said. “But we don’t have enough evidence to rule it a homicide.”

Reports said Jackson was last seen in the company of his mother’s ex-boyfriend and another person of interest.

April Jackson later spoke with her ex, who said he was unaware of Jackson’s whereabouts.

Both her ex-boyfriend and the other person of interest were arrested on charges stemming from separate incidents. One suspect posted bond and was released, and the other remains in police custody.

Kelty said one suspect has been cooperative during the investigation but would not say which one.

April Jackson reportedly received a telephone call informing her she’d find her son’s body on the East Side. She called the police and asked that a search party be formed. But Kelty said a search of that magnitude would take “thousands of people.”

Once a smaller area can be determined, Kelty plans to use cadaver dogs to assist the search, he said.

Kelty said he hopes more cooperation will lead to a smaller search radius and more chance of finding Jackson.

“Right now, I can’t say the area is between this street and that street; it’s just too big,” Kelty said. “Hopefully, some leads will come up that will allow us to narrow the scope of our search.”

April Jackson, who has been in contact with police, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Kelty said he knows about the pain she is feeling now but urges her to be patient with the investigation.

“I understand her frustration because she can’t find her son ... but I just can’t give her answers right now,” Kelty said. “We’re doing everything we can.”


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