An Elkridge woman whose husband was arrested April 18 and charged with killing his first wife two decades ago is seeking a divorce.

Martha Jarrett filed for divorce April 27 in Howard County Circuit Court, accusing Robert Arnold Jarrett Jr. of committing adultery and deserting her, according to documents obtained by The Howard County Times.


The divorce papers were filed nine days after Robert Jarrett was arrested after police found the remains of Christine Jarrett in his backyard in the 6000 block of Claire Drive, underneath the floorboards of a shed and a concrete slab. He has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder.

Martha Jarrett's attorney said the divorce complaint was in the works prior to her husband's arrest.

Christine Jarrett disappeared on Jan. 3, 1991. Robert Jarrett told police that she had walked away after an argument. She was 34 years old at the time. The couple had been married for 16 years and had two sons, who were 5 and 10 at the time.

Robert met Martha Hamacher in April 1991. They married in June 1993 and have one daughter together, who is now 18 years old. Robert was granted a divorce from Christine 18 days before his wedding to Martha.

In her divorce filing, Martha accuses Robert of being verbally and mentally abusive, and says that he told her in December 2011 that he was ending the marriage. Robert Jarrett "began living with another woman in an adulterous relationship," and last spent the night in Elkridge on Jan. 5, 2012, which is exactly 21 years after Christine was reported missing.

Court records show his address as being in Prince Frederick in Calvert County.

Martha Jarrett, who started seeking a divorce in December, remained at the Elkridge home. Detectives arrived there on April 17 and told her "they had information that ... Christine Jarrett might be buried in the backyard," according to the divorce filing. She gave them permission to search the property, which the detectives did the next day.

Martha Jarrett's attorneys said Monday that they are also looking to freeze Robert Jarrett's assets