It was the silence that first stirred concerns among those who loved her. Jackson’s John Street home was locked and dark inside, and she didn’t answer texts or phone calls.
Friends stopped by her home on Saturday — Sept. 8, 2012 — in hopes of finding her, and her family asked police to check on her. Her body was not found until about 8 p.m., after an acquaintance forced his way through the home’s back door and found her body inside the home.
The evening before, a Friday, she had several visitors before Clinton went to the home, according to court testimony.
Justin Kromer, the father of a child who was a cousin to Jackson’s children, told the jurors he stopped by Jackson’s house at about 8 p.m. that Friday. He dropped off a Little Caesar’s pizza for Jackson and her two children — Celina, 3, and Wayne Jr., 20 months.
Heather told him she would call if she got a babysitter, so they could possibly meet later at a bar.
Instead, another of Jackson’s friends, Josh Case, dropped by at about 9:30 p.m. Case told jurors he’d been drinking Tanquery and vodka that night, and he and Jackson spent the evening watching a movie while he drank. They also took a Percocet.
Another friend, Tom Hanson, then stopped by, according to court testimony. After Hanson left, Jackson put the children to bed, and she and Case went into her bedroom and had sex, according to court testimony.
Case’s friend Billy Crawford then dropped by. Crawford said he held Celina briefly because the child wasn’t feeling well, and Jackson couldn’t hold her because she herself wasn’t feeling well. When Crawford tried to pick up the child, he extended his arms to her. At first, the girl hesitated.
“Then, I don’t know if she felt all right or what, but she put her arms back out,” Crawford told jurors. “I held her for about five minutes, then I put her back down.”
His voice cracked with emotion as he recounted his last interaction with Heather and her children.
He said he and Case left at about 1 a.m.
At about 3 a.m., Kromer sent Jackson a text message because he hadn’t heard from her that night.
Jackson sent a text message back, informing him she was at home.
After that, no one ever heard from her again.