ANTIOCH, Calif. (KRON) — On Thursday police finally revealed what investigators believe happened to a young Oakley woman who vanished six months ago from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Alexis Gabe, 24, was publicly classified as a missing person until Thursday, when Oakley Police Chief Paul Beard announced that she was likely murdered by her ex-boyfriend.
Gabe’s romance with her “first love” turned into a tragedy.
“At this point, we believe that Alexis Gabe was the victim of a homicide,” Beard said. “We believe Alexis’ ex-boyfriend … killed Alexis at his (Antioch) home on or about January 26.”
Gabe’s friends and family had long suspected that her ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Marshall Curtis Jones, was behind her disappearance.
Jones was the last person who saw Gabe alive before she suddenly vanished on January 26, 2022. The couple had recently broken up, according to her friends.
Police were tight-lipped about the investigation until they revealed on Thursday that Jones was dead.
Jones was fatally shot on Wednesday in Washington by the Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force. Police said the task force was attempting to arrest Jones when he charged at officers with a knife.
Alexis Gabe’s father, Gwyn Gabe, was emotional as he spoke to reporters.
“What happened to Marshall was tragic and unexpected. My wife cried so hard last night hearing of his passing. He was our daughter’s first love. They were together for three years. He got along well with the two brothers and her cousins. He became part of our family. We had no idea he was capable of doing something like this to her,” Gwyn Gabe said.
“We didn’t want him dead. We wanted him arrested to pay for his sins. We wanted to meet him face-to-face, look him in the eye, ask him ‘why? Where is Alexis?'” Gwyn Gabe told reporters.
“I know the police are saying that our daughter is gone. But our daughter will remain alive in our minds and our hearts. We will continue to search for her until we find her,” Gwyn Gabe said.
A $100,000 reward is still being offered for anyone with information that finds Alexis Gabe.
The police chief said, “We do hope that someone with knowledge of Alexis’ whereabouts will now feel more empowered to come forward,” without fear of Jones.
Beard said investigators and search teams have found “no signs of life” indicating that Alexis Gabe may still be alive.
Police are hoping that someone other than Jones knows exactly happened to Alexis Gabe and can confirm whether she is dead or alive.
Jones never gave police much information before his death.
“Marshall Jones was very uncooperative during our joint investigation. He refused to speak with us several times,” the police chief said.
Jones’ lack of cooperation caused the mystery surrounding Alexis Gabe’s disappearance much longer to piece together.
“We have literally searched for her via land, sea, and air. Her disappearance has been both heartbreaking and frustrating. It has taken an emotional and physical toll on all of those involved. Our investigation into the disappearance of Alexis Gabe has consumed the men and women of my department. She has been our primary focus,” Beard said.
On the night of January 26, Alexis Gabe went to Jones’ Antioch home, according to her friends and family.
“As soon as her friends hadn’t heard from her all night, essentially that was the first red flag. The fact that she never came home, second red flag,” Alexis Gabe’s friend, Morgan Strenfel, previously told KRON4.
Jones and Alexis Gabe broke up in November 2021, but still saw each other “from time to time,” Contra Costa County prosecutors wrote.
Police searched Jones’ house on Benttree Way. He told police that she left his house at 9 p.m. Jan. 26.
“Part of what led us to believe that Alexis was the victim of a homicide is the examination of a large amount of digital and forensic evidence,” Beard said.
The evidence includes her cellphone case, which was found near Jones’ house on the side of a road.
Jones’ DNA was discovered on the cellphone case, Beard said. The case was empty without a phone attached to it.
Detectives poured over thousands of phone records. Alexis Gabe’s blue Infinity was found abandoned with the keys still in the car’s ignition on Trenton Street in Oakley.
Surveillance cameras recorded some of Jones’ movements on the night of Jan. 26.
“Several surveillance cameras captured him on a path from where Alexis’ vehicle was dumped in Oakley to his home on Benttree Lane. Alexis’ vehicle was equipped with a GPS system. That system showed a direct path leading that vehicle from Marshall Jones’ house to where it was dumped in Oakley,” Beard said.
Gabe’s friends and family held out hope that she would be found alive. Numerous search efforts were organized by community volunteers over the past six months.
Beard said law enforcement officers kept a very close eye on Jones’ whereabouts for several months. Jones left California and fled to Washington just days after his ex-girlfriend was reported missing.
Jones had a “small network of family and associates” in Washington, the police chief said. He was living at an associate’s house in Kent, a suburb of Seattle.
Police began wire tapping Jones’ cellphone in April.
Oakley and Antioch police issued an arrest warrant for Jones in Kent, Washington and Contra Costa County prosecutors filed murder charges against him last week.
When the U.S. Marshalls Service task force arrived at the Kent house on Wednesday, Jones allegedly opened the front door armed with a knife. He “charged” at officers, Beard said.
“Jones was shot because of his deadly and threatening actions. He died at that scene,” Beard said.
Investigators will continue searching for Alexis Gabe and following up on new leads, Beard said.
“Our investigation is not going to end with this press conference today, we still have a lot of work to do,” Beard said.