Daniel MacGinnis indicted for 1988 murder

Published 12:24 am Thursday, August 29, 2019

BEAUMONT — One day after his arrest, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Daniel Andrew MacGinnis for the 1988 murder of Patricia Ann Jacobs.

MacGinnis, 60, of Warren, is being held in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility on a $1 million bond for the Oct. 5, 1988 death of Jacobs, 36, of Silsbee.

Jacob’s body was found in the Neches River off Old Ferry Road on Oct. 6, 1988; an autopsy showed the cause of death as drowning and that she had significant trauma to her head and face.

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According to the arrest warrant, Jacobs failed to return home from a meeting at Silver Spur tavern in Hardin County on Oct. 5, 1988. The next morning her husband, whose name was not given, drove to the bar and found her truck still in the parking lot. After searching for her fruitlessly, they contacted the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and reported her as a missing person.

The Texas Rangers, detectives with the Port Arthur Police Department and investigators with Hardin County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation where they interviewed numerous witnesses and MacGinnis was identified as a suspect.

He was later interviewed in the state of California where he “denied killing or abducting Patricia Jacobs and denied knowledge of the location that Jacobs was believed to have been abducted from,” the document read. Further investigation shows no previous contact between MacGinnis and the victim and the investigation languished.

Then, in October, one of Jacobs’ family members called the Texas Rangers asking for an update on the case. The Rangers then got with PAPD’s Lt. Scott Argo and they began reviewing the case.

That’s when authorities found clothing worn by Jacobs when she was found dead had not been examined by the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory for DNA. Her clothing was sent to the lab on Feb. 26 to determine if biological evidence was present on any of the clothing and four months later, on June 26, law enforcement officials received notice that DNA had been discovered and a profile developed.

The profile was sent to the state DNA system and the Combined DNA Index System and it was a match for MacGinnis, who by then was a registered sex offender in Texas and California.

On Aug. 20, law enforcement had a voluntary interview of MacGinnis in Tyler County and he “denied ever having sexual intercourse with Jacobs or knowing who Jacobs was” and “denied Jacobs ever having been in his vehicle, of dating Jacobs or having any knowledge of who Jacobs was” other than hearing her name during the first round of investigations 30-plus years ago.

Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham and Port Arthur Chief Tim Duriso held a press conference on Tuesday praising the work of Texas Rangers, PAPD and the DA’s office in bringing an arrest to a nearly 31-year-old case.

Staff photo