true crime

TRUE CRIME: The murders described as 'the most disturbing in local history'.

WARNING: This post discusses the murder of two adults and an unborn child in detail.

Newlyweds Cristie Schoen Codd and Joseph Codd had just begun their new lives together.

The couple had recently bought a large property near Asheville, North Carolina and, according to their friends, were working towards their goal of running a farm and one day, a cafe.

They had both enjoyed previous career success – Cristie, 38, was a film-set caterer, who had also worked as an actress and stuntwoman, while husband Joseph, known to most as JT, worked behind the scenes. Cristie also appeared on US reality cooking show, Food Network Star, in 2012.

And then there was the wonderful news that they were expecting their first child – a girl, who they hoped to name Skylar.

Cristie Schoen Codd and Joseph "JT" Codd. (Image via Facebook.)

The Codds appeared to be starting a dream life - a dream that was ruthlessly shattered when they employed a handyman in May 2015.

Exactly what happened the day the couple were killed remains unknown as the one living person who knows the truth is killer himself. His account is chilling, nonetheless.

This week, 37-year-old Robert Jason Owens pleaded guilty to murdering pregnant Cristie and JT Codd and dismembering their bodies.

The North Carolina handyman, who the Codds had employed as a contractor, claimed that he accidentally ran over Cristie and her husband while they were trying to help him get his truck out of a ditch, CBS News reports.

Robert Jason Owens in 2015. (Image via Fox Carolina)

While there's no way to know if those claims are true, what Owens did next makes this crime what authorities called "the most disturbing killings in [local] history".

Deciding to cover up the crime, Owens used an electric saw to dismember their bodies, WSPA reports. He then burned their remains in a wood stove on his property.

Owens said he stole and sold some of the couple's personal items to make their disappearance look like a robbery.


"Because there are no surviving witnesses and Jason Owens had exclusive control of the crime scene for several days, and he had nearly completed the gruesome project of cremating his victims' remains, we will never know many of the facts surrounding the Codds' deaths," local district attorney Todd Williams said in a statement.

Listen: The True Crime podcast team discuss the murder of Sallie-Anne Huckstepp. (Post continues...)

A day after the couple were reported missing by a concerned family member, authorities acted on a tip and discovered the Codds' remains in Owen's stove, arresting the man on 16 March.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of dismembering remains, according to authorities.

For this admission of guilt, he was spared the death penalty, however his sentence - 59 to 74 years in jail - is "tantamount to a sentence of death in prison", according to Williams.

In court, Owen's lawyer said her client was remorseful and "grateful" to close the case, the Citizen-Times reports. Owens also addressed the couple's family.

"I want you to know that I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your loved ones and the pain and suffering it’s caused you," he said.

"I’m grateful for you for the mercy you have left with this court to show me. I am truly sorry."