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Arizona man arrested in connection to 1987 disappearance, murder of wife

Mugshot of Kevin Jokumsen (Photo: Chandler PD)

PHOENIX — An Arizona man was arrested in connection to the disappearance and presumed murder of his wife back in the 1980s, the Chandler Police Department said Wednesday.

Kevin Jokumsen, 53, was arrested in Washington state on Aug. 31 on suspicion of second-degree murder for his wife, Donna Mae Jokumsen.

Donna Mae Jokumsen (Photo: Chandler PD)

Donna Mae was last seen on July 5, 1987, nearly a week after calling her father in Washington state to tell him she was returning to live in Washington with her two children.

Kevin was being held in the King County Jail, awaiting extradition to Arizona. It was unclear if he has a lawyer yet.

Wife disappeared in 1987

In 1987, Donna Mae, then 22-years-old, was living in Chandler with her then-23-year-old husband and their two children.

On July 3 of that year, Donna Mae talked to her father on the phone and told him she was coming to Washington state, but did not arrive after nearly a week.

She was reported missing by her mother on July 11, 1987. Chandler police went to the Jokumsen home shortly after and found Kevin and both of their children, but did not find Donna Mae.

Donna Mae hasn’t been heard from since, police said.

Report details domestic violence history

Kevin told police that his wife was going back to Washington because she didn’t like the Arizona summer heat, but had no idea where she was, Chandler police said. He also told police that there were three other times that Donna Mae stayed away for a few days at a time, but always took the kids with her.

According to a police report, Kevin showed no emotion and didn’t appear worried about his wife.

The report also stated that there were three previous documented incidents of domestic violence.

Donna Mae’s friends and co-workers told police she allegedly had been physically abused by her husband and he knew she was leaving him. Her mother also told police that Kevin “tried to kill Donna in the past.”

Kevin’s mother and brother-in-law also told police that Kevin was arrested for violating a restraining order against Donna and once “dunked Donna in a drainage ditch because he had gotten mad at her and they had been arguing.”

Kevin was indicted in the case earlier this year by Maricopa County authorities after Chandler police investigators said there was no evidence that Donna Mae was still alive.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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