Long Trail Ended at Makeshift Grave Under Backyard Shed
Howard County police say the department never forgot about Christine Jarrett, whose body was found buried in the backyard of her home after 21 years.
Howard County police officials say they always remained on the search for Christine Jarrett, an Elkridge woman missing since 1991 whose husband has been charged in her killing after police found her remains buried behind their house.
"She was someone we never forgot," Sherry Llewellyn, spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Deparment (HCPD), said in an interview with WJZ.
Robert Jarrett, in the Howard County Detention Center facing first- and second-degree murder charges, wouldn't let officials search the house after he reported his wife missing in 1991, police told WJZ.
Detective Stephen R. Greisz, who is now retired but was assigned to the case in 1991, said that Robert Jarrett did give officers permission to search the couple's house on Claire Drive in Elkridge, and nothing suspicious was discovered.
This week, HCPD said in a statement that at some point "police suspected foul play but did not have evidence at that time to prove it."
The remains of Christine Jarrett were found on April 18 buried behind the Claire Drive home under a shed, a location the initial detective on the case reportedly couldn't recall whether his team searched.
HCPD said investigators discovered the remains under the shed's floorboards, mixed with concrete, after receiving information that "reinforced the possibility that the case may have involved foul play." The cause of death has not yet been determined, according to police.
Neighbors had always suspected foul play, particularly after Robert Jarrett poured fresh concrete in the shed within weeks of his wife’s disappearance, built another structure around it and got upset with children playing near the shed, reported The Baltimore Sun.
Detective Greisz said in an article two months after Christine Jarrett's disappearance that he suspected she ran away, since her husband told police she withdrew $4,000 from the bank in recent weeks.
"I'm just worried that maybe she decided to leave the house for a few days and, with such a large amount of money on hand, got involved with the wrong kind of person," Greisz was quoted as saying in a Baltimore Sun article dated March 17, 1991.
At the request of Christine Jarrett’s friends, who said she would not have left her two sons, the police consulted a psychic in the months after her disappearance, according to news reports.
Departments’ occasional use of psychics is a tool for police “when leads are scarce,” reported The New York Times.
The psychic enlisted to help find Christine Jarrett said she believed the woman got into a blue car headed for Pennsylvania and predicted she would be found within 50 miles of her home by mid-April, according an article in The Capital from April 17, 1991.
After Robert Jarrett was charged in his wife's murder this week, that same psychic, a woman from Linthicum, couldn’t clearly remember details of the case, reported The Baltimore Sun.
"'It’s just been too long,’" she was quoted as saying. The article's author noted that the body was found in mid-April and within 50 miles of the home, as the psychic predicted.