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Husband charged when wife's remains found 20 years after disappearance

Robert Jarrett charged with murder after remains found in backyard shed

April 19, 2012|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

Fryer, the next-door neighbor, said he objected to lending the psychic a personal item to help her connect with Christine. Christine's niece, Karen Hoke, said he also had initially objected to reporting her missing.

And then there was the shed. It was a metal shack to the rear-right of the home, and within weeks, in the dead of winter, Hoke recalls that Jarrett was pouring new concrete inside it. Fryer said he also built a new structure around the shed, and later a second shed was built on the other side of the yard.

When her children would play with his boys in the backyard, he became angry if they got near the original shed, she said.

"They would say, 'Why does Mr. Bob get so mad if we get near the shed?'" Fryer said.

Stephen Greisz, a retired Howard County police detective who initially handled the case and is now living in Florida, recalled that Robert Jarrett gave detectives access to the house, and they used forensics available at the time to search for clues.

"We found nothing," Greisz said. "There wasn't anything uncovered then that would suggest foul play."

Greisz said that after two decades, he's unable to recall whether the shed was searched.

According to court records, Jarrett was charged in Anne Arundel County District Court with driving while impaired by alcohol last May, and received probation before judgment in August.

Family and friends said the discovery of her remains brings closure but renews the grief and pain they felt 20 years earlier. Patricia Mueller, Christine Jarrett's sister, recalled visiting the Elkridge home often, where they would work on craft projects such as dolls and Christmas decorations. Other friends and family members said Christine was a doting mother "devoted" to her sons.

"How could you go out in that yard, and have parties or cookouts, and know she's only a couple steps away?" Mueller said. "How could he raise his kids and look them in the face every day?"

Howard County Times reporters Kevin Rector and David Greisman contributed to this article.

jfenton@baltsun.com


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