Elkridge man indicted in decades-old death of former wife

An Elkridge man accused of killing his wife, who disappeared 21 years ago, was indicted May 9 by a Howard County grand jury.

Robert Arnold Jarrett Jr., 57, formerly of the 6000 block of Claire Drive, is facing one count of first-degree murder. He is being held without bail at the Howard County Detention Center in Jessup.

Jarrett was arrested April 18, after detectives found the remains of Christine Jarrett, who was 34 years old when she disappeared on Jan. 3, 1991, buried behind the Elkridge house they once shared. Robert and Christine Jarrett had been married for 16 years and had two sons, who were 5 and 10 at the time.

The case remained open for more than two decades, until detectives returned to the Claire Drive home in April, where Robert Jarrett had since been living with his second wife, Martha Jarrett, whom he had married in 1993 and with whom he has an 18-year-old daughter.

Robert and Martha Jarrett had been separated since January. Detectives had never received permission from Robert Jarrett to search the property before last month, nor did they have probable cause for a search warrant, police said.

But Robert Jarrett had since moved to Prince Frederick in Calvert County. When detectives returned last month, Martha Jarrett gave them permission to search the property.

Christine Jarrett's remains were found underneath the floorboards of a backyard shed, beneath a concrete slab.

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