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Internet sleuths work to uncover 'missing pieces' in Kimberly Kessler murder case

Every member has their own reasons for participating. For some, the morbid and oftentimes deranged details of the case piqued an insatiable curiosity.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — Pages of court documents, tips, evidence and potential leads plaster a Facebook group made up of thousands of amateur web sleuths who are searching for answers in the disappearance of Joleen Cummings.

Kimberly Kessler is charged with murder in connection to the disappearance of the Nassau County mother and hairstylist. Her body has never been found.

While the internet sleuths may be amateurs, their advanced knowledge of the public record's system is profound, keeping meticulous notes about the case and any developments.

"Additional filings on the murder charge. Also, added hearing on motion HOM scheduled on 6/30/2021 at 0900 AM," posted one user.

"I for some reason started to dig into her phone searches again, Pages 1-5. Some we talked about and some we haven’t," posted another, along with notes and 14 photos of potential leads.

The group, called the Kimberly Kessler Missing Pieces: Sleuth Coup, regularly exchanges case information and theories, hopeful for any information that may lead to justice for Joleen Cummings.

Every member has their own reasons for taking part in the group. For some, the morbid and oftentimes deranged details of the case pique an insatiable curiosity that only true crime can. 

"One of the main reasons I’m following this case is because I am a crime scene buff and this case will make a movie…it’s that incredible," tells Laura JG.  The ladies who run this page have taught me a lot about investigating too, I can’t believe how much info they have uploaded on this page."

For others, the reasons for being involved are more personal.

"I joined thus page because I worked with Joleen for 5 years at Tangles," said Crystal Glass Haney. "I loved and cared for this young lady very much. My hope that is they find the truth, and that maybe they can find what she did with joleens body. I am hoping for a guilty verdict..."

"Jolene was my hair dresser. She was very open about her life. She was obviously a hard working mama that was trying to take care of her children she loved..," says Donna Dunning

But, as with anything, there are rules.

The administrators that manage the page have several protocols that all members must follow in order to actively participate. One of the most important? "Don't Go Real Life".

The phrase means members are banned from contacting (outside the Facebook group) friends, family, law enforcement sources or anyone close to the murder investigation. Administrators say rules are created to alleviate added confusion and chaos as police continue to piece together the events that led up to Joleen Cumming's disappearance on Mother's Day 2018.

It's those pieces, much like those in a puzzle, that internet vigilantes and armchair detectives are hoping to uncover.

"We’re just as confused as everyone else is. Join us in the mass confusion, or dont. You’re either in or you’re out."

Click here for more information about the group.

First Coast News will be covering the murder trial of Kimberly Kessler live on our website and app starting Dec. 6 at 8:30 a.m.

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