Boyfriend charged with murdering Chesterfield County nurse who disappeared in 2014

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Police in Chesterfield County have arrested and charged an Ashland man with murdering a Chesterfield County woman who disappeared two years ago.

Zulma L. Pabon, 26, was last seen leaving St. Francis Medical Center following her shift as a nurse on June 6, 2014. Her car, a 2009 white Nissan Altima, was found on Drumvale Drive in Chester the following Monday.

This flier was issued by Chesterfield County Crime Solvers in 2014.

After two years of investigating her disappearance as a suspicious missing persons case, investigators concluded that Pabon is dead, even though her remains have not been found.

On Monday, March 13, 2016, detectives obtained an indictment for first-degree murder for 39-year-old John E. Gibbs II, of the 300 block of Arlington Street in Ashland. Gibbs, who was a person of interest in connection to Pabon’s disappearance, was arrested in Massanutten on Tuesday and is currently in police custody being transported to Chesterfield.

8News spoke to her family in North Carolina. Her sister said they have mixed emotions about the arrest.

“I still have hope,” Pabon’s sister, Yalitza Soba, said. “Sometimes in my heart I know he might have done something, but where is she?”

For Pabon’s family, every day since she disappeared has been a struggle.

“It is a nightmare,” Soba said. “I would never want anybody to go through what we are going through.”

“It is a nightmare. I would never want anybody to go through what we are going through.”

Her sister said the arrest doesn’t provide closure, but it is a step in the right direction.

“It’s a battle, we have a long way ahead of us,” Soba said. “We are going to keep fighting for her justice and my nephew’s justice and I look forward to all of that.”

Gibbs was the longtime boyfriend of Pabon and the father of her son, but the relationship was rocky.

Zulma L. Pabon and her son. (Photo courtesy Yalitza Soba)

“I just know that she wanted a new beginning and before she started that beginning she went missing,” Soba said.

Her family is now hoping this arrest will give them the clues to where she is.

“We still believe she’s out there,” Soba said. “I’m hoping and truly believe that we can find her no matter how the situation goes.”

Her sister also said they are working to get full custody of Pabon’s 6-year-old son who she said is with Gibbs’ sister.

Gibbs will appear before a judge Wednesday morning.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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