NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - The boyfriend of 30 year-old Jessica Dana of Huntington has been ordered held on $100,000 bail, three days after the mother of three disappeared.
Jeb Daly, 36, pleaded not guilty to charges of improper disposal of a body and misleading authorities, during his arraignment at Northampton District Court Monday morning.
Dana's family members told 22News that her body was found near their Rocky Brook Drive home on Sunday, following an extensive search by state police. The body has not been officially identified by authorities.
According to Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steven E. Gagne, Daly and Dana had been gathering with friends at their home prior to her disappearance. Guests said that the two had been arguing all night long, and that she was still in the house after they left. Daly was the last person to have seen Dana.
Gagne says that Daly notified Dana's family that she was missing on Saturday morning, and that it was only after their urging that Daly reported her missing around 5:00 P.M.
Daly told police that Dana had just walked off into the night.
He let police into the house to conduct a search (many friends and family members were at the house at the time), but according to Gagne, Daly had appeared nervous and distracted. He wet himself, and then asked to use the bathroom. When he was away, there was yelling heard in the backyard, as friends and family members discovered a body wrapped in a tarp found inside a cardboard box used for a swimming pool, located behind the house. It was then that Daly ran away through a neighbor's yard into the woods.
Daly was arrested around 9:00 Sunday night, after agreeing to meet a family member at their car (only to be greeted by state police instead.)
Alan Rubin, Daley's Attorney, says that his client ran because he panicked, and was afraid of being attacked by the crowd.
The situation shocked people living in the normally quiet Hilltown neighborhood. Neighbor Jorge Burgos described the couple as having kept to themselves.
"They were kind of private, very private, only with friends. They were very happy. They just bought that home, not too long ago," Burgos said.
Daly is due back in court on July 27. No further charges are expected to be filed until the body has been positively identified and a cause of death has been determined by the state medical examiner.
If you have any information that could help investigators with the case, you are asked to call State Police in Russell at (413) 862-3312.