Kay Lynn Jackson archives: Boise woman killed near river

22-year-old was on her way to religious services

Idaho StatesmanMay 1, 2013 

This story originally appeared in the Idaho Statesman on April 6, 1998.

Kay Lynn Jackson was walking to Sunday morning services with a worn Bible in her hand when she was stabbed to death near the Boise River.

The city's third murder this year occurred on Palm Sunday in a tunnel under the Americana Boulevard Bridge, just north of Kathryn Albertson Park.

Police have no suspects at this time.

Jackson, 22, left her job at the downtown Travelodge at 7 a.m. Police and family members believe Jackson was either headed to First Baptist Church or to a religious service in connection with the "Enough is Enough" anti-drug campaign at Boise State University Pavilion.

Boise Police officers believe Jackson was forced into an isolated tunnel on the southwest side of the bridge. Once inside the tunnel, she was attacked with a knife.

"It appears that she suffered a stab wound to the chest, " Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg said. "We will know more after the autopsy Monday (today)."

The killer left a 30-foot streak of blood after dragging the 95-pound woman through the tunnel to a rock on the bank of the river. Her cloth-covered Bible and a navy blue purse with money and personal items still inside were found next to her bloodied body.

Chris Pugsley, 31, of Boise, discovered Jackson's body around noon propped up against a rock.

Pugsley, who was fly fishing upstream from the bridge, saw a large pool of blood and a trail that led to Jackson.

Standing five feet away, he couldn't tell immediately if it was a man or a woman, alive or dead. "I thought it was a transient at first, " he said. "I tried to rouse them and I yelled pretty loud."

When she didn't move, Pugsley assumed the worst.

"I just got scared when (she) wouldn't wake up, " Pugsley said.

Jackson, who had brown eyes and brown hair shaped in a bob cut, didn't own a car. Friends and co-workers say she walked everywhere.

For the past four years, she worked as a night auditor at Travelodge at 13th and Grove streets. Co-workers and friends from church describe Jackson as a sweet, quiet, meek person.

"She was very liked around here, " said co-worker Terri Ann Wilson, who last spoke to Jackson Saturday evening. "She got along with everybody."

But more than work, she was defined by her strong Christian beliefs.

"She was very faithful, " said the Rev. Bruce Young, senior pastor at First Baptist Church. "She was the kind of person who sits in the front row and takes notes."

Jackson was a regular attendee of a Sunday young singles Bible study that ran from 11 a.m. to noon.

"She soaked it up like a sponge, " said Armond Taylor, long-time member at First Baptist.

When she didn't show up Sunday, people wondered where she was.

Pugsley found Jackson's body across the river from the Greenbelt that leads to BSU. The First Baptist Church is located at 13th and Washington streets.

Sonnenberg said he didn't know whether Jackson was sexually assaulted. Police found her body fully clothed in a navy blue cotton jacket and green stretch pants.

Jackson lived with a roommate at 5453 W. Franklin St. Police notified Jackson's parents and family Sunday afternoon.

The family declined comment Sunday.

Church member Taylor talked with Jackson last week. Jackson talked about wanting to become a management trainee at the motel where she worked.

Jackson's murder is the third in two months. Boise's other two murders also occurred on a Sunday morning. Brothers Jacob and Patrick Kelley were shot in their Boise Bench home March 1.

Many aspects of the Jackson murder scene were strange, said Boise Police Lt. Dan Miller.

"The fact this happened to a nice young lady en route to church on a quiet Sunday morning in a location that doesn't get much travel - all those things point to the unusual nature of this crime, " he said.

Reporter Bill Roberts contributed to this report.

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