Man allegedly confesses to murder of woman missing since 2003: DA

PHOTO: Jade Babcock in a police booking photo.PlayPhiladelphia Police Department
WATCH Man arrested in wake of human remains discovery

A Philadelphia man is in custody after allegedly confessing to the murder of a woman who has been missing for 16 years, prosecutors said.

The arrest of Jade Babcock, 49, came after a tip in the 2003 missing persons case of Brenda Jacobs, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

PHOTO: Jade Babcock in a police booking photo. Philadelphia Police Department
Jade Babcock in a police booking photo.

The tip -- which Lycoming County District Attorney Kenneth Osokow said came Monday -- led to the discovery this week of human remains in a storage facility in Northeast Philadelphia.

The remains are suspected to be of Jacobs, who was believed to be in a relationship with Babcok, said Osokow.

Jacobs, who was about 39 when she went missing, lived in Lycoming County in central Pennsylvania, about 180 miles away from Philadelphia. She had been missing since 2003 but was not reported missing by family until 2013, prosecutors said. Osokow would not comment on why it took so long for the missing persons case to be filed.

PHOTO: Brenda Jacobs in an undated photo. Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers
Brenda Jacobs in an undated photo.

Babcock was interviewed in 2013 or 2014 when Jacobs was reported missing, Osokow said, and has now allegedly confessed to Jacobs' murder, though Osokow would not elaborate.

"When there is no swift resolution to an investigation, perpetrators do begin to believe that they can get away with murder," Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement. "With the help of our State Police, that won't be true for Jade Babcock. May those who have been missing and mourning Brenda Jacobs for years know some peace in the very near future."

PHOTO: Jade Babcock was taken into custody, Sept. 17, 2019, after human remains were found inside a Northeast Philadelphia storage facility. WPVI
Jade Babcock was taken into custody, Sept. 17, 2019, after human remains were found inside a Northeast Philadelphia storage facility.

Babcock was arrested on Tuesday and charged with abuse of a corpse, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence.

Philadelphia prosecutors said homicide charges are expected. Osokow said homicide charge determinations "will be made shortly."

Osokow would not comment on a motive and said prosecutors have not yet been informed of Jacobs' cause and manner of death.

Babcock, who is being held without bail, has not yet entered a plea. He is set to return to court for a status hearing on Oct. 18. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

ABC News' Leonardo Mayorga contributed to this report.