Jessica McCormack’s friends continue to fight for answers in her murder case. They are taking matters into their own hands, raising funds and raising awareness to bring her killer to justice.
The friends hope to hire a private investigator to shed more light on the case.
They also connected with podcasters who have been highlighting the three-year-old case on the air.
They are hopeful they can find out exactly what happened to McCormack, friend Candace Nichole said.
“We absolutely believe this is something that can and should be fixed,” he said.
Jessica McCormack, of Noel, was discovered on July 29, 2019, near Missouri Highway 59 between Lanagan, Mo., and Noel. Her remains were stuffed into a suitcase.
McCormack was seen alive when law enforcement officers responded to a call at her home on July 16, 2019, according to an affidavit.
Officials said Mahamud Tooxoow Mahamed, 39, a Somali national, was facing a federal charge for the abduction of McCormack’s 4-year-old daughter.
Prosecutors allege Mahamed abducted a minor victim (identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1) and transported her from Missouri to Iowa.
McCormack has three daughters, identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1 (four years old), Jane Doe 2 (two years old), and Jane Doe 3 (six months old).
McCormack’s children could not be located after his body was discovered and identified. An Amber Alert has been issued for McCormack’s three children, who were in a residence in Des Moines, Iowa, and taken into state custody on August 8, 2019. According to the affidavit, a woman who previously worked with Mahamed in the Tyson’s Noel plant told law enforcement that Mahamed arrived at his Des Moines residence with the children on Aug. 5, 2019. She found he was gone on Aug. 8, 2019, the affidavit says, when she found a note from Mahamed informing her that she could not look after the children.
Investigators confirmed with the father of McCormack’s oldest son that Mahamed did not have his consent to take Jane Doe 1 out of the state of Missouri.
Mahamed, who has been on the run from justice since the indictment, was arrested in Guatemala, expelled from that country and taken back to the United States, officials said.
Since then, public court documents show that Mahamed’s case has had several court dates, although no trial has yet taken place.
Most recently, a judge denied a motion to dismiss Mahamed’s case. The order was signed Dec. 7 by Judge Roseann A. Ketchmark of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Southwestern Division.
The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office said the FBI is now handling the case. A call to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s office in Joplin was routed to the Kansas City office.
Bridget Patton, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Kansas City office, said she could not provide an update on the case.
“I’m not authorized to share information at this time,” she said Tuesday afternoon.
However, a trio of McCormack’s friends remain undaunted by what they see as a delay in finding answers.
Nichole, Mimi Bailey and Kendra Baker teamed up to talk to people in the community, make connections and learn more information to pass on to officials.
They’ve set up a GoFundMe and hope to raise $7,000 to $10,000 to hire a private investigator, Nichole said.
“We don’t believe Tito (Mahamed) could have done it on his own. There have been a lot of rumors circulating from the tweaker community, and it’s hard to know what might be true or false,” Nichole said.
Nichole was also instrumental in finding podcasters who took on the idea of keeping McCormack’s case alive. One Nation Under Crime Podcasts aired “2019: The Unsolved Case of Jessica McCormack” in June.
The podcast is part of a series orchestrated by a pair of friends discussing real crime cases. The two highlighted Jessica’s story and the many questions that remain.
“We hope to spread Jessica’s story and gain support for our cause,” Nichole said.
Podcasters believe the case could be solved easily. They also want to shed light on a horrific murder case filled with addiction, domestic abuse, and many unanswered questions.
“If a person hears Jessica’s story and is, or knows someone who is struggling with addiction or in a domestic abuse situation, I hope Jessica’s story will encourage them to come out,” they said during the podcast.
The friends believe the steps they are taking will reveal more clues.
“That’s exactly our hope,” Scott said.