Name: Zebb Wayne Quinn
Age: 18 years old
Last seen: January 2, 2000
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Status: Still Missing
Disappeared: Season 5 Episode 15 “Just a Nice Guy”
18-year-old Zebb Quinn was last seen in Asheville, North Carolina on January 2, 2000. He disappeared after leaving work and heading in the direction of Leicester with a former coworker to check out a car he was considering purchasing.
Zebb Wayne Quinn was born on May 12, 1981 in Asheville, North Carolina to Denise Vlahakis. Quinn has an unspecified organizational/learning disability.
Quinn graduated from Roberson High School and attended Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. He was a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
For two years, Quinn worked in the electronics department of the local Wal-Mart store on Hendersonville Road in Asheville.
On January 2, 2000, Quinn finished work at 9:00 pm and planned to check on a Mitsubishi Eclipse he considered purchasing at a dealership in Leicester with former coworker, Robert Jason Owens. They drove in separate vehicles to the location.
At approximately 9:15 pm, the two were seen entering the Eblen Citgo gas station on Hendersonville Road to purchase sodas. They left several minutes later and were captured by the security camera heading in the direction of Long Shoals Road.
Quinn never returned home that night and has never been heard from again.
On January 3, 2000, his mother filed a missing persons report when he failed to show up for work the next day and did not return her calls.
Robert Jason Owens
22-year-old Robert Jason Owens was a coworker of Quinn’s and the two occasionally played pool together.
Owens told police that shortly after leaving the gas station, Quinn flashed his headlights to signal him to pull over. Quinn said he received a page and needed to return and left to find a payphone.
Quinn returned around 9:30 pm, rear-ending Owen’s truck. He promised to pay for the damage and said he had to leave, cancelling their evening plan.
The next morning, Owens failed to show up for work and said he had been in a traffic accident the night before, near The Waffle House restaurant on Long Shoals Road by the intersection of Interstate 26.
He was treated at Urgent Care Center on Hendersonville Road for a head wound and fractured rib. No car accident report was filed that night, and his injuries were not consistent with a vehicle collision, according to police.
On January 4, 2000, a Wal-Mart supervisor received a call from a man pretending to be Quinn, saying he wouldn’t be able to make it to work due to an illness. Questioning the unfamiliar voice, the supervisor traced the call back to a Volvo Construction Equipment plant.
Owens worked at Volvo Industries, and admitted to police that he made the call because Quinn had asked him to. He declined to cooperate shortly after.
Robert Jason Owens was considered a primary suspect in Zebb Quinn’s disappearance, but police didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest.
Before his disappearance, Quinn met and befriended 19-year-old Misty Taylor at a Christmas party through his mother’s fiancé’s restaurant.
He soon became romantically interested in her, partly because she was in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Wesley Smith. Quinn had told friends and family that his life had been threatened by Taylor’s boyfriend because of his affection for her.
In 2009, police gathered hair, fingerprint and saliva samples from Taylor, but stated that she was not considered a suspect or person of interest.
Page call trace back to paternal aunt’s residence
Police traced back the page Quinn had received on the night of his disappearance to the residence of his paternal aunt, Ina Ustich.
She denied having made the call, and told police she was having dinner at her friend’s house, who happened to be Misty Taylor’s mother. Misty and her boyfriend were also at the dinner that night.
She subsequently filed a police report claiming her house was broken into the night of Zebb Quinn’s disappearance, while she was having dinner at her friend’s house.
Abandoned car found in a parking lot on McDowell Street
On January 16, 2000, Quinn’s 1990 Mazda Protege was discovered abandoned in the parking lot of the Little Pigs Barbecue restaurant on McDowell Street, two weeks after he went missing.
On the rear window, a large pair of lips and an exclamation mark were drawn in orange-pink lipstick. Police found a hotel key card, a jacket, several empty drink bottles and a three month old live Labrador puppy inside the car.
None of these items could be linked to Quinn, and police were unable to trace the hotel from the key card after checking the area’s hotels and motels. The driver’s seat was also set close to the steering wheel, indicating a shorter person than Quinn was driving.
The car was found near Mission Saint Joseph’s Hospital, where Quinn’s grandmother, mother, and sister all worked as nurses.
Man pleads guilty to murder of pregnant Food Network star
Between 2002 and 2009, Owens spent about 23 months in state prison after convictions for habitual impaired driving, speeding to elude arrest, assault on an officer, resisting officers, reckless driving and drunk and disorderly conduct.
On March 17, 2015, Owens was arrested and charged with the murders of former Food Network Star contestant, Cristie Schoen Codd and her husband, Joseph J.T. Codd and their unborn child in Leicester, North Carolina.
On April 27, 2017, Owens pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of dismembering human remains. He was sentenced to 59 to 74 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
He confessed that he killed the family by accidentally running them over, and dismembered their remains to hide the bodies.
Robert Jason Owens indicted in Zebb Quinn homicide
On March 31, 2015, Investigators unearthed “fabric, leather materials, and unknown hard fragments” buried under a layer of concrete on Owens’ property on Owens Cove Road in Leicester.
An unknown white powder substance and pieces of metal and concrete were found after digging up a concrete fish pond area. Plastic bags containing possibly pulverized lime or powdered mortar mix were found in another part of the property.
On July 10, 2017, Owens was indicted by a Buncombe County grand jury with first-degree murder for the death of Zebb Quinn. He is currently awaiting trial.
Police found no evidence, means or motive for foul play in Zebb Quinn’s disappearance. Owens is currently serving a life sentence in prison and is awaiting trial for the alleged murder.
The circumstances of Zebb Quinn’s disappearance remain unclear and his case is currently classified as a homicide. His case remains unsolved.
Caucasian male. Brown hair with blue/gray eyes. He is 5’9” tall and weighs 165 pounds.
Distinctive Physical Features:
Quinn has scars between his ring and middle fingers on both of his hands. He wears contact lenses.
Clothing and accessories:
He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with a logo, a plaid button-down shirt, Tommy Hilfiger jeans or khaki pants and a gold chain necklace.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Zebb Quinn please contact the Asheville Police Department (828) 252-1110 or Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050.
Resources & Further Information
News & Media Links
Missing Asheville man’s case featured on national show – Fox Carolina 08/12
Warrant details Zebb Quinn-related search at Leicester property – Citizen Times 06/15
Man charged in deaths has tie to Zebb Quinn case – Citizen Times 03/17
Buncombe Co. man accused of killing TV chef, husband, unborn child due in court – Fox Carolina 04/17
Robert Jason Owens indicted in Zebb Quinn homicide – Citizen Times 07/17
Buncombe Co. man indicted for 2000 murder of missing Asheville teen – Fox Carolina 07/17
Timeline: From Zebb Quinn disappearance to Robert Jason Owens charged – Citizen Times 07/17
Ownes charged with killing Zebb Quinn – ABC13 News 07/17
20 years after the disappearance of Zebb Quinn, still very few answers – ABC13 News 01/20
Why hasn’t there been a trial in the Zebb Quinn case? – ABC13 News 08/20