Boyfriend of Zulma Pabon charged with her murder, over 2 years later

Posted at 4:46 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 07:57:07-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The boyfriend of missing Chesterfield nurse Zulma L. Pabon has been charged with her murder.

Pabon, 26, was last seen alive on June 6, 2014.

After more than two years of investigating what was initially a suspicious missing person case, investigators have concluded that Pabon is deceased, though her remains have not been recovered.

This case is now classified as a death investigation, specifically a no-body homicide.

On Monday, March 13, 2017, detectives presented the facts of this case to the Central Virginia Multi-Jurisdictional Grand Jury and obtained an indictment for first-degree murder for John E. Gibbs II, 39, of Ashland.

John Gibbs (PHOTO: Chesterfield Police)

Gibbs was arrested in Massanutten, Va., on Tuesday, March 14, with the assistance of the Massanutten Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force.

It’s been nearly three years since Yalitza Soba last saw her youngest and only sister, Zulma Pabon.

“I think it’s just a roller coaster of emotions, being really sad and depressed to angry,” said Soba.

Soba said she was at work when she got the news Tuesday.

“Just getting that phone call and knowing that he has been arrested, it brought tears to my eyes,” said Soba. “Of course I’m very glad and happy that police and the detectives finally arrested him.”

Soba said this is just the beginning of a long journey and will continue to keep fighting for her sister.

“I look forward to justice for my beautiful sister and my nephew,” said Soba.

Gibbs is currently in police custody en route from Massanutten, Va., to Chesterfield County.

Gibbs was arrested in Feb. 2016, and charged with child neglect after police said he left his five-year-old son alone on more than one occasion. He was found guilty of the crime in November.

He was previously questioned about Pabon’s disappearance, but never charged with a crime.

Pabon was described as a Hispanic female, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 145 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen Friday, June 6, 2014,  when she left work at St. Francis Medical Center, where she was a nurse. Co-workers reported Pabon missing when she failed to show up for work on Monday, June 9. Her boyfriend Gibbs did not report her missing.

Pabon’s Nissan was located about 10 days after her disappearance, in the Greenleigh Mobile Home Park off Jeff Davis Highway, some 16 miles from Pabon’s Midlothian home on Terrace Arbor Circle.

Surveillance cameras captured images of a white, newer-model four-door truck towing a white, four-door vehicle on Commonwealth Center Parkway at about 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, June 7. Police asked the driver of that truck to contact them immediately, but never released any information about it.

Gibbs was seen returning to their Terrace Arbor Circle home about 6:39 a.m. the morning of Saturday, June 7, according to police. He was alone. Pabon’s white 2009 Nissan Altima was seen leaving the home the couple shared about 15 minutes before Gibbs was captured on a neighbor’s security camera returning to the house.

Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 6:13pm 5400 Block Commonwealth Centre PKWY

Pabon’s sister previously said that there was no way Pabon would leave without taking her son. Chesterfield Police said there was no history of domestic violence calls at the address, nor any indication Pabon had ever disappeared before.

Police have also previously said that Gibbs did not cooperate with the investigation, detectives said. They added that was his Constitutional right.

For all background stories and updates, click here.

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