Commonwealth Journal

November 8, 2013

Local native, girlfriend victims of apparent murder-suicide

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — Police are continuing to investigate the apparent murder-suicide of a Nashville, Tenn. couple with Pulaski County ties.

Officers with the Metro Nashville Police’s South Precinct on Monday, Nov. 4 discovered Jesse Meece, 45, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the South Nashville home he shared with his girlfriend, Beth Jacobs Straub, also 45.

Officers found Meece’s body after Meece’s mother reported to police that he hadn’t been to work since Oct. 30.   

It was during the initial investigation into Meece’s apparent suicide when patrol officers told detectives that they had been called to the couple’s home around a week before on Oct. 29 after Straub’s employer called police and said she hadn’t shown up to work on Oct. 28 and 29.

“Straub had last worked on Oct. 23,” stated a press release from Nashville Police. “She was scheduled for a partial shift on the 24th and to take a vacation day on Friday, the 25th.”

When Nashville officers asked Meece about Straub, he allegedly told them she left the home after the two had an argument and hadn’t returned.

“He allowed officers to check the inside of the residence,” stated the press release. “They found no sign of Straub.”

But during the Nov. 4 investigation into Meece’s death, investigators came across new construction in the basement of the home, including a makeshift wall that looked newly-installed. After investigators removed the wall, they found a 96-gallon trash can that was reportedly resting on wood pieces supported by sawhorses. Attached to that trash can was PVC pipe that was connected to the sewage line.

“When the lid of the trash can was raised, officers saw a Plexiglass window surrounded by a foam sealant,” stated the press release.

Investigators found a receipt dated for Oct. 27 for the foam sealant and 100 pounds of livestock deodorizer.

The trash can was removed from the home and unsealed Tuesday at the Tennessee Medical Examiner’s Office, where investigators found a woman’s body that’s presumed to be Straub, along with some of the livestock deodorizer.

Investigators believe Straub has been dead since at least Oct. 27.    

The police department’s Domestic Violence Division has no record of any trouble between Meece and Straub, and neither has an arrest history in Nashville.

According to published reports, Meece and Straub moved to Nashville from Somerset between a year and a hear and a half ago.

Meece is a Pulaski County native, and he reportedly attended Pulaski County High School.

According to media reports, Straub moved to Somerset from New York. The couple lived in Somerset together for a time.

Authorities will conduct an autopsy on Straub and continue the investigation.