CORAL SPRINGS, FL – In late October, Daryl Jahnke woke up in the morning to find out that his wife had left during the night with all of her stuff, a police report said.
He text-messaged his wife, Sarah Jane Willard, who told him she was on her way to Texas.
It was the last time Jahnke heard from his wife while she was alive.
Willard’s body was found on Feb. 14 in Jackson County, Mississippi, about 100 miles north of Baton Rouge, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
Police arrested Phillip York, 54, in connection with killing Willard and burying her body in his backyard in the St. Martin community, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. York had served 10 years in Virginia for stabbing a woman.
Willard, 29, had suffered from a severe bipolar disorder and had gone missing from her family before, police said. Jahnke, 33, went to Coral Springs police on Dec. 16 -- nearly six weeks after she went missing on Oct. 28 -- to report that she was gone.
This time, Willard’s disappearance had deeply concerned Jahnke and Willard’s mother, Kelli Richeson Walker, the report said. Willard had never left home for so long without contact with her family.
At that point, police put Willard into a national missing person database.
Willard had met York online, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Other than that information, it isn’t clear how Willard’s body ended up at York’s home.
York is in jail on a $250,000 bond for a murder charge and a $100,000 bond for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Jahnke and Walker could not be reached for comment.