October 2, 2014

Medina
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54°F

Update: Suspected killer Nathan Summerfield arrested in Wadsworth motel

UPDATE: A extradition hearing before Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Friday for Nathan Summerfield, accused of killing his girlfriend last month in North Carolina.

WADSWORTH — A monthlong, nationwide manhunt for a suspected killer ended early Wednesday in a Wadsworth motel.

Federal officers, supported by local police, arrested Nathan Summerfield in his room, without incident, about 9:30 a.m.

Ashland County Sheriff E. Wayne Risner speaks at the news conference Wednesday in Ashland announcing the capture of Nathan Summerfield earlier in the day at Legacy Inn and Suites in Wadsworth. (AP PHOTO)

Summerfield, 27, an Ashland resident, was wanted in the killing of his 33-year-old girlfriend, Lynn Jackenheimer, also of Ashland.

She disappeared July 3 in Dare County, in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where she and her two children were vacationing with Summerfield.

Her body was found July 16 in North Carolina. Police said she died of strangulation and stab wounds.

Summerfield last was seen July 8 when he returned the children to Ashland. The search for him began after his brother told authorities that Summerfield said he’d strangled Jackenheimer.

The federal officers nearly missed Summerfield, who registered under the name “Jay Summerfield,” employees of the Legacy Inn and Suites, 810 High St. said.

Manager Alice Selbert said Summerfield was arrested just hours before he was scheduled to check out of the hotel, which is near the Interstate 76 interchange with state Route 94.

She said Summerfield was driving a red pickup when he checked in Tuesday morning.

“We didn’t realize it was him at all,” Selbert said.

Nathan Summerfield

Lynn Jackenheimer

U.S. Marshals Assistant Chief Deputy Drew Deserto declined to say how investigators learned Summerfield was at the hotel.

“We received a lot of tips on this case,” Deserto said. “Our investigation did a good job putting that information together along with what they discovered throughout the investigation to get to that hotel today.”

Summerfield was in a king-size room that permitted smoking, according to front desk clerk Barb Poling.

“When the first-shift girl checked the bedroom, she said he had jeans on and a T-shirt and it looked like he hadn’t shaved in a few days,” she said. “He was very cordial — just your normal off-the-street polite.”

Poling said the motel manager received a call from the U.S. Marshals Service about 8:30 a.m., saying that a man staying in Room 211 would be arrested.

Wadsworth police officers secured the scene while deputy U.S. marshals arrested Summerfield.

Members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force from the Richland County and Akron divisions also were on the scene, according to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service.

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said at a news conference that Summerfield’s car was found in Michigan and tips about his whereabouts came from all over the country.

In Ohio, a woman told police she thought she spotted Summerfield in Columbus and authorities in the Port Clinton area were alerted because Summerfield frequently had visited the area.

Wadsworth Police Chief Randall M. Reinke said his officers were on the lookout for Summerfield.

“He used to work in Medina County, so we knew there were some potential ties to the county,” Reinke said.

Reinke said he did not know how long ago or where Summerfield worked in the county.

Summerfield was taken to the Medina County Jail, pending a hearing, where he is expected to be extradited to North Carolina to face murder charges.

The hearing, before Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler, has not been scheduled.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Michelle Sprehe at (330) 721-4048 or msprehe@medina-gazette.com.