Jason Hans, former husband of missing mom Ella Jackson, has known the 47-year-old Richmond woman for 17 years and describes her as a gentle person and a kind soul.
Hans, a professor of family science at the University of Kentucky, said that Jackson is the most intellectual person he has ever known with an incredible capacity for compassion for people and animals, or anyone needing help.
"She's had some difficult experiences in life, and I think it is pretty amazing that she has such a gentle and caring character about her given her past, and I think it is because of that," Hans told The Register in an interview Wednesday.
Jackson was reported missing last week and was last seen on Oct. 20 at her Westwood Drive home in Richmond, leaving behind her phone, car and dog. Her 5-year-old son was left in the care of her husband, Glenn Jackson, a senior lecturer of English at Eastern Kentucky University.
"Leaving all those things behind, it doesn't make any sense," Hans said. "It doesn't make sense that she wasn't in contact with me, or her son Phillip (her adult son), who she talks with regularly. Most importantly, she left her child behind. She had never been a night without him -- the only time she was without him was one day when she was in a car accident."
Jackson was declared missing on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and according to Hans, the family spent the whole evening at the Richmond Police Department answering questions and trying to figure things out.
He stated police told them they would be working on the case and that it may take some time to figure things out.
"We didn't hear anything for the first couple of days, and we were not hearing anything, and we were frustrated and decided if they won't let people know she's missing then we will," he said, prompting the family to send out their own news release of Jackson's disappearance.
In the release, it states "that everyone who interacted with Jackson in the days leading up to her disappearance have described her as being in a good mood, going about her normal day-to-day business, and making plans for the future. In short, there was no indication that anything was amiss or that foreshadowed her disappearance."
He told The Register that part of the difficulty is that the family does not know what to do now to help find Jackson.
"Since Friday we have had a lot more interaction with detectives, and we are constantly giving information and answering questions," he said. "We are trying to get information from any perspective that we can, and telling them about various things to look at and into -- people, places, whatever it may be. It's difficult, because we don't know where to go or what to do. We are trying to figure out what to do next and not really knowing."
Officers with RPD searched Jackson's home on Tuesday for a majority of the day, according to Assistant Police Chief Rodney Richardson.
He said the search is part of the department's protocol when investigating any missing person and that the search includes looking for any clues and speaking with neighbors.
He stated the husband and entire family was cooperating with the investigation.
A few tips have been reported, he said, which the department has followed up on.
"Any tip and any information is always important to us, and we want to follow up on any tip because we want to find them safe, and if we can't, then we want to know what happened to them."
Jackson was last seen wearing khaki-colored shorts, black and white shoes, a black Under Armour shirt and hoop earrings.
Anyone with information can contact the Richmond Police Department at 859-624-4776 or by emailing email@example.com.