The alleged remains of a woman who moved to Florida to escape an abusive husband has been found, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting.
Rachael Madison disappeared a week ago around 1:30 p.m. after she went jogging on the beach. The 44-year-old woman had been staying with family after leaving her husband, Jarvis Madison, who had been reportedly mistreating her. After her disappearance, police believed that Rachael Madison was with her husband. However, what they could not confirm was if the 44-year-old woman left willingly with him.
The body of the woman yet to be confirmed was found 600 miles away in a remote area off the I-40 near Knoxville, Tennessee, shortly after Jarvis Madison was arrested. The 58-year-old man was arrested in Louisville, Kentucky, Friday, on a criminal confinement charge related to when his wife was trying to get away from him in Indiana. The homeless couple had been living in Jarvis’ 2011 Honda Pilot. They also had spent time in between motels in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Jarvis Madison was enraged when he found out his wife wanted to leave him and go to Florida. The 44-year-old feared for her life and had called her aunt, Thelma Newsom, and begged her to “take her away from her abusive husband.” Jarvis had refused to let her go and held her at gunpoint. When she tried to run away, Jarvis allegedly shot his gun at her, making her return to the vehicle out of fear.
Late in the day, Rachael convinced her husband to stop at a Walmart store in Indiana. It was there that the 44-year-old woman called the police. Their arrival on the scene caused Jarvis to run. A felony warrant with a $15,000 cash bond was issued; prompting law enforcement to arrest Jarvis on sight.
According to a report obtained from the Volusia Police department, Newsom told police that Madison was covered in scars from her husband’s purported abuse. One of the scars she had was from acid her husband poured on a tattoo on her back. According to Newsom, Madison had also been cut repeatedly with a knife by her husband.
In the report, Jarvis had allegedly threatened his estranged wife’s family members, promising to kill them all if Rachael was not sent back to him. Newsom said Jarvis had called his wife, 30 minutes before she went for her run. The aunt said that Rachael occasionally jogged along Ormond Beach to clear her mind as she tried to pick up the pieces and start life afresh. The family said she also kept a diary and was looking for work at the time of her disappearance.
Charles Spencer, Special Agent in Charge of the investigation expressed sympathies to Rachael’s family and reminded them that the agency was committed to getting to the bottom of what happened to the 44-year-old woman.
“The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the FBI are with Ms. Madison’s family and we remain committed to finding answers through our ongoing investigation.”
Sheriff Ben Johnson of Volusia County offered his own condolences in a statement on Saturday, revealing that the department was saddened by recent developments in the case, but that concerted efforts would be made to see that justice was served.
“We are deeply saddened by the recent developments in this case. The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners and is making the full resources of our agency available to assist the family in this difficult time and ensure that justice is served.”
According to Andrew Grant, spokesperson for the Volusia County department, there was genuine concern over Rachael Madison’s safety, based on her husband’s penchant for abuse and violence, but they found it difficult to keep tabs on the homeless couple.
“Given the allegations that we were made aware of in the fairly recent past, there is a higher level of concern for her safety. When you don’t have a permanent address or fixed location — where you can at least start the investigation — it poses a challenge. We know generally that in the past Jarvis has been drawn to state parks and 24-hour businesses, like gas stations, but there are lot of those between Indiana and elsewhere.”
In 2014, Rachael was charged for picking up her kids from school and vanishing. The boys were from a previous relationship.
They were found two weeks later.
[Featured Image by Volusia County Sheriff’s Office]