Family of woman killed by Uber passenger says faith will get them through

The family of Yolanda Dillion, who was stabbed to death outside a Harvey hotel while driving for Uber, says they can’t comprehend what possessed the suspect to do something so horrific.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 10:15 PM CST
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HARVEY, La. (WVUE) - The family of Yolanda Dillion, who officials say was stabbed to death by her Uber passenger during a freak incident on Thursday (Dec. 8), said they’re still processing the loss and trying to understand how someone could carry out such a horrific act.

Dillion, 54, was a devoted church volunteer and fiscal analyst for NOPD. She was driving for Uber on the side when she was stabbed to death outside the Travelodge in Harvey.

Yolanda Dillion, 54, was stabbed to death by Brandon Jacobs, 29, in the parking lot of a...
Yolanda Dillion, 54, was stabbed to death by Brandon Jacobs, 29, in the parking lot of a Jefferson Parish hotel, according to officials.(WVUE)

“It’s still a shock,” said Stephanie Mills, Dillion’s cousin. “You can’t wrap your head around why when there’s no reason why.”

More: Sheriff: Uber driver stabbed to death by passenger in back seat

“It is very shocking. It’s hard to process, but we just got to take it one day at a time,” said cousin Michelle Rodgers. “I do know at some point we’re going to be able to look back on the good times, and laugh and talk about what she means to us, and just reminisce.”

Mills and Rodgers said they have a tight-knit family, mainly in the New Orleans area, there to support one another.

“You hear about different crimes and stuff on TV all the time, but it feels different when it’s someone that you know, or someone in your family,” Mills said.

Details of the fatal stabbing were first handed down by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office just after 10 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7). In the release, Sheriff Joseph Lopinto confirmed that a woman was found inside a vehicle with a stab wound in the parking lot of a Travelodge hotel in Harvey around 3 p.m.

The victim was transported to a hospital where she died from her injuries, Lopinto said.

In a press conference at noon Friday, joined by outgoing NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, Sheriff Lopinto identified the victim as Dillion, who officials say was slain after driving 29-year-old Brandon Jacobs from a location in New Orleans to the hotel.

Jacobs reportedly told investigators he woke up with a desire to kill someone.

“It just kind of made me wonder: what kind of person would do that?” Rodgers asked.

The two cousins described Dillion as a devoted church volunteer at St. Paul the Apostle Church on Chef Menteur Highway. She devoted much of her free time to taking care of her ailing elderly mother.

Even though she didn’t have children of her own, Dillion had a heart for kids, they said.

“She always had something to say, something to talk about. When we had family gatherings, she would love playing with all of the little cousins,” Mills said.

With the loss, the cousins said faith will have to carry their family through.

“Your faith has to pull you through, and understanding that the Lord.. it was her time and the Lord wanted to call her home,” Mills said.

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