Killer of East Islip teen believed to have been lured by 'patient brokering' still at large
The family of a missing East Islip woman who was found dead in Florida is still awaiting an arrest in her case one year later.
Jenna Jacobsen went missing last year and was later found murdered in South Florida. Saturday marks one year since the 20-year-old was found. Her father Chris says Jenna, who had been in a New Jersey substance abuse center, was lured to Florida with promises of a better scenario.
"It seems she was in the wrong place at the wrong time," says Chris Jacobsen. "The people down there, they prey on them."
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Chris Jacobsen says he's personally put up $5,000 for information about who killed his daughter, making the overall reward $10,000. Jenna was last seen outside a Lake Worth convenience store, waiting for a ride to a rehab center.
Police in Palm Beach County, Florida, say the case is still an active homicide investigation. But Chris, during his search for answers, learned about the dark, illegal world of "patient brokering" -- essentially people hired to recruit for unscrupulous rehab centers.
"These places have no credentials, there's no programs, the kids are left up to their own demise, and all they're doing is bilking out millions of dollars from the insurance companies," says Chris Jacobsen. "They bid on these kids up north, according to, like, the quality of their insurance."
Drug treatment expert Dr. Jeff Reynolds says one year later, patient brokering is still in business, but there has been a crackdown.
"Regulators in Florida have gotten a lot tougher on the bad guys in the space, the FBI has begun organized crime investigations into some of these facilities and some of the operators that are all linked together in some shape or form," says Reynolds.