Melissa Norby Murder: Where is Jacob Kinn Now?

Image Credit: Kare 11

In the episode titled ‘Mr. Innocent’ of Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: American Detective,’ viewers are provided with a detailed account of the 2016 murder case of Melissa Norby. Since she was also connected to the kidnapping of a 5-year-old girl, the police investigated two crimes simultaneously while they searched for the perpetrator/s responsible for both. As they uncovered the identity of the criminal, his horrifying motives came to the surface. Besides the investigation, the episode also features exclusive interviews with Melissa’s family and friends, giving us an idea about the impact that her death caused.

Melissa Norby Was Found Dead in Her Burning Trailer Home

Born in the early 1980s, Melissa Sue Norby had a difficult childhood as she went through a traumatic event that affected her self-esteem significantly. Although she had low self-esteem, she wanted people to like her. In her quest to receive love, she got married to Joshua Ellingson. When he was convicted of indecent exposure, the couple divorced in 2010. She was also involved in a relationship with Justin Ray Epp, with whom she gave birth to a son. However, even he turned out to have troubles with the law as he was an alleged registered sex offender in Nebraska. She also dated a guy named Jacob Kinn for a short while. When her son came into her life, things changed, and Melissa prioritized him over everything else.

Image Credit: Bemidji Pioneer

Melissa and her son lived in a trailer at the Hillcrest Manor Trailer Park at 3900 Irvine Avenue in Bemidji and she worked as a babysitter. She was close to her cousin Tuesdae Callopy, who lived in the Twin Cities area. In the early morning hours of June 22, 2016, a fire was reported in the trailer park, and when the authorities arrived at the scene, they found the 35-year-old mother of one dead in her mobile home with her hands and feet bound together. Fortunately, her son was nowhere near the arson as he was staying with Tuesdae at the time. Upon inspecting the body and identity of Melissa Norby, the police learned that she was the babysitter of a 5-year-old girl who was reported missing. The autopsy of her body revealed that she died of homicidal violence, specifically by strangulation, before the house was set ablaze.

Melissa Norby Was Allegedly Involved in a Kidnapping With His Boyfriend

As the detectives delved deeper into the personal life of Melissa Norby by interviewing her loved ones, they found out that she had possibly gotten back together with Jacob Kinn around the time of her demise. He had child pornography convictions under his name, about which Melissa knew when she used to date him. Although she tried to stay away from him because he was a bad influence on her son, he reportedly kept trying to get in touch with her. As Jacob became a person of interest, the police dug for more information about him.

When they read the text messages between Jacob and Melissa, they found sexually explicit messages between them referring to the missing 5-year-old girl. It seemed that they even discussed the kidnapping of the kid. When the 5-year-old girl was found inside a camper, which was owned by Jacob’s brother, in a rural area 26 hours after the fire, the police arrested Jacob and brought him in for questioning. While he was in a sexual relationship with Melissa for about a year before her murder, Jacob claimed that they devised a plan to kidnap the girl together and then sexually assault her. According to him, Melissa brought the child, the daughter of her friend, to her mobile home.

Jacob allegedly joined her and had sex with her in the presence of the 5-year-old in the trailer. In an unexpected turn of events, he choked Melissa with a belt and killed her. After that, he took the girl to a cabin in Bemidji, where he kept her restrained, before returning to his dead lover’s house and setting it on fire. Jacob then reportedly returned to the cabin and sexually assaulted the girl. On June 22, 2016, he left for work, and when he returned around 8 or 9 pm, he picked up the girl and took her to a pop-up camper in Effie, Minnesota. Moreover, after the girl was rescued, she identified Jacob as the man who taped her and took her to the cabin, solidifying the case against him even further.

Jacob Kinn is Incarcerated at a Minnesota Prison Facility

On June 6, 2017, Jacon William Kinn pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person younger than 13, and one count of second-degree unintentional murder. On June 26, 2017, the 33-year-old convict was then sentenced to 33 years in prison for the murder charge. On top of that, he was also sentenced to four years and eight months imprisonment for the kidnapping charge. As for the sexual assault, he received an imprisonment sentence of 14 years and four months.

In total, Jacob Kinn was sentenced to 52 years in prison for all the charges against him related to the murder and kidnapping case of Melissa Norby and the 5-year-old girl child, respectively. At present, he is serving his sentence behind bars at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Rush City at 7600 525th Street in Rush City, Minnesota.

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