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The’mom-in-the-box’ and Her Daughter Have Been Found Following a Ten-year Search

Mother and Daughter's Identity Revealed After Ten Years of Mystery

Ten years after police were deceived by an altered name and birth year on a driver’s license, the identity of a California woman whose body was found starved to death on her couch has been revealed.

According to a news release from the Monterey Police Department, at first, they did not suspect foul play in the death of a woman who had been identified as “Francesca Linda Jacobs,” 58, by her driver’s license. The Monterey County Weekly reports that she was wearing a blue velour pantsuit and was found in a room full of recycled fast food drink containers. The results of a search of her flat, however, would stump investigators for years.

The police discovered the “decomposed remains of another person inside a box” in the dining nook, but they were unable to ascertain the cause of death. the body was “mummified, wrapped in plastic, placed in a wooden crate that was wrapped in even more plastic, and then placed inside a cardboard box,” as reported by the Weekly.

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The woman had obviously been preparing for her death, as evidenced by a handwritten poetry found in her bedroom titled “Safely Home” and referring to the writer in paradise. According to another handwritten paper titled “The Last Will and Testament of Francesca Linda Jacobs,” Francesca was to transfer her entire estate to her landlord in place of rent.

Her mother, “Florence Ida Jacobs,” was inside the cardboard box, and she wanted both of them cremated and buried in a cemetery north of Los Angeles. However, no information prior to 1990 was located for “Francesca Jacobs,” and almost no history was retrieved for “Florence Jacobs.”

The picture on Francesca’s driver’s license appeared to be of an older woman, and her body appeared to be much older than the age given on the license. According to the Monterey Weekly, Linda’s neighbors describe her as extremely reclusive and “a little strange.”

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No one had been in the flat in the 12 years since she had moved in, so neither her neighbors nor her landlord had any idea that a body was being kept in the kitchen. The unsolved mystery was dubbed the “Mom-in-the-Box” case by the media and law enforcement for years.

According to CBS News, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office transferred genetic samples from the two women and other unidentified victims to the private Othram lab in Texas in an effort to solve backlogged cold cases.

The autopsy revealed that Linda Rae Jacobs, the starved woman, was born in 1942, 12 years before her license indicated. Her mother, “Ida Florence Jacobs,” was identified as the other body. With this information in hand, police could speak with the women’s loved ones. The autopsy results also showed that the death of the older woman was not suspicious.

The reasons Linda Rae Jacobs assumed a new name or why she would keep her mother’s body in a box under the kitchen table will likely never be known,” police said in their release. According to MPD officers, however, the women’s identities were confirmed by a “previous husband” who spoke of a “unusually strong life-long bond between [the] daughter and mother.”

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