ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Human remains were found inside a wood stove at the North Carolina home of a man charged with killing a contestant from the TV show Food Network Star, her husband and their unborn child, a sheriff said Friday. Cristie Schoen Codd, and her husband, Joseph "J. T." Codd, were likely killed three days before they were reported missing, Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan said at a news conference. He said investigators aren't ready to discuss a motive for the crime. The sheriff also released search warrants that showed deputies took 11 knives and a saw blade as well as "debris from wood stove" and "debris from yard" from two of Robert Jason Owens' homes near Asheville. Owens is being held without bail on first-degree murder charges.
Investigators said Owens did odd jobs for the couple and Joseph Codd texted Owens several times the day before they were last heard from. Owens was arrested after deputies saw him throwing away some of Joseph Codd's belongings the day the couple was reported missing. Search warrants state that Owens told his wife he killed the couple.
Owens' court-appointed lawyer, M. Victoria Jayne, has not responded to telephone messages seeking comment.
Deputies said Owens, 36, also is a prime suspect in the disappearance of college student Zebb Quinn, whose body was never found after he disappeared 15 years ago.
Cristie Codd was originally from Biloxi, Mississippi, and had worked as a movie-set caterer. She was a contestant and finalist on "Food Network Star" during its eighth season.