Family remembers Minneapolis man found dead year after disappearance

Jake Poe was always happiest when he was playing sports.

"He loved sports. It's what fed his heart-baseball, basketball, football," said Jake's mom, Tali Nelson. 

The 31-year-old beloved son and brother was also known for his caring heart.

 "He was a very simple, wonderful, loving son," said Nelson. 

 But behind his bright smile, Poe also struggled with mental health issues, being diagnosed with schizophrenia psychosis in 2020. In the days before his disappearance, Nelson knew something was off.

 "I knew something was wrong then, that was my first cue. Either his medication...he wasn't taking it regularly or something was off," said Nelson. 

Poe was last seen on March 26, 2023, and Nelson believes, because of his mental health struggles, his case wasn't looked into as closely as it should have been. In the months he was missing, she took on the role of investigator to find answers, even calling on family friend and police officer Lou Ferraro to help in any way he could.

"When we are looking for someone, it's almost like looking for a needle in a haystack," said Ferraro. 

 With his help, they were able to pull surveillance footage, tracing Poe's last movements near ford parkway in St. Paul. In late February, his remains were discovered in the river near Hastings.

 "He was just super, super brave and strong. He was an amazing human," said Nelson. 

 By sharing Jake's story, they hope to put a spotlight on mental health, especially when it comes to missing persons in our community.

 "We really do have a crisis in our society and in our community and in our cities that is dealing with mental health," said Ferraro.