(Howard County Police Department )
The body of a Howard County woman reported missing more than 20 years ago was found buried under floorboards of a shed behind her home, and her husband has been charged in her murder, police said.
Robert Jarrett, 57, of the 6000 block of Claire Drive, reported his wife, Christine Ann Jarrett, missing on Janurary 5, 1991, telling police she walked away from their home after an argument. News reports at the time said she kissed her sons goodnight, and left with $4,000 cash. The reports also said there were "brewing problems at home."
"She did make remarks sometimes that she might leave, but I think it was more like a frustration thing," Jarrett told The Sun at the time. "I don't think she'd just leave. It's hurting us."
Howard police said they recently received information that "reinforced the possibility that the case may have involved foul play." Detectives visited the home Wednesday and received permission from Robert Jarrett's current but estranged wife to conduct a search of the property.
Robert Jarrett, according to a neighbor and confirmed by police, had left his current wife for another woman and was living in Prince Frederick. The current wife gave police consent to search the property, which they hadn't previously been able to do, according to police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.
In a shed behind the home, buried in concrete, police say they found Christine Jarrett's remains. They said the remains were taken to the medical examiner's office to confirm the identity and cause of death, but said "personal effects located with the body indicate it likely is Christine Jarrett."
Robert Jarrett has been charged with two counts of murder - first and second-degree - and was being held without bail.
Robert Kidd, 59, a friend of Christine Jarrett's best friend and who lives next door, said the husband was always suspected. "This is the same thing she told him 20 years ago, and nobody would listen. She was laying there for 21 years. It's a shame," Kidd said.
Llewellyn said police always suspected Robert Jarrett. "These kinds of cases don't ever go away for us," she said.
He said yesterday police descended on the property. "They went all out on it," he said. "It wasn't like no chaos, no nothing. They went straight to the shed," Kidd said.