Who hasn’t wanted to lose a little weight from time to time? Each year, countless Americans embark on fitness plans in an effort to lighten up, and while few succeed, everyone who gives it a shot should be celebrated! For Heather Palumbo-Jones, though, her weight loss journey turned from fairy tale to murder mystery almost overnight! How? What did she do to bring on her gruesome demise?
Keep reading to learn about the strange story of a Tennessee family and the crime that sent a small town into chaos. Just a warning… slide 2 may have you sleeping with one eye open tonight!
#12 Heather Palumbo
Heather Palumbo-Jones was a thriving kindergarten teacher in Germantown, Tennessee. She and her husband Chris had two beautiful children, one boy and one girl, and she was thrilled about the positive changes she was making in her life… For Heather, life couldn’t have been better — except for one little thing.
#11 Chris Jones
Heather’s husband, Chris Jones, was a successful businessman and a loving father. For him and Heather, it truly was love at first sight! But, as Heather began to make some healthy and positive steps towards improving her life, Chris’ usually happy demeanor turned jealous, angry, and vengeful. Still, Heather kept going with what she knew was good for her!
#10 A Dramatic Transformation
After years of being fed up (pun intended) with her body and being overweight, Heather began a serious diet and exercise plan. She was thrilled with the changes she saw in her body, and the 160-pound weight loss the scale showed certainly helped her confidence! Unfortunately, someone else wasn’t quite as happy…
#9 Newfound Freedom
As Heather lost weight, her confidence soared. This led to her feeling more comfortable going out and meeting people, running in local 5k races, and socializing with those other than her coworkers. This all made Chris incredibly jealous. He feared Heather was going to leave him for a younger man. At one point, he even told her that she needed to gain all her hard-lost weight back!
#8 A Struggling Marriage
Chris’ frustration and anger quickly turned into rage, leading him to physically abuse Heather. Fearing for her safety, she fled with the children and filed for divorce. She also filed a restraining order against Chris. Finally, it seemed like she and her kids were going to be able to live safe and happy lives…
#7 Setting The Scene
On the evening of April 5th, while her kids were staying with their grandparents, Heather went out for Happy Hour with some friends. After they all hugged goodbye, Heather got in her car and drove home. Little did her friends know… That was the last time she would be seen alive.
#6 Where Is Heather?
On the morning of April 6th, Heather Palumbo-Jones never reported for work at Frayser Elementary School. Her students were sad because they absolutely loved their teacher, but her friends feared that there might be something more sinister going on. After all, they had been warning Heather about Chris for months…
#5 “No Sign Of Struggle”
The police rushed to Heather’s home to investigate. Everything inside was neat and tidy, and the doors were securely locked. They reported that there was “no sign of struggle,” and mentioned that the fact that Heather’s keys, cell phone, and car were missing all pointed to the notion that she ran away. Boy were they wrong!
#4 Prayer Vigils
For months, Heather’s friends held prayer vigils and appeared on the news to urge her to return home. Still, her family, very close friends, and the police had doubts that she had really run away. They questioned Chris, but were unable to discover anything super disclosing. That is, until they found Heather’s body…
#3 A Shocking Discovery
In the woods only a few miles outside of Germantown, police discovered a severely burned body. Immediately, they DNA-typed skin samples and turned over the body to a forensic pathologist. It was determined that the body was, in fact, Heather Palumbo-Jones. She had died by asphyxiation. Chris Jones immediately confessed to the crime and was arrested.
#2 The Trial
Because Chris Jones plead guilty, his trial was relatively short. Heather’s family had the opportunity to speak with Jones about the pain he had caused them, and he was soon convicted of second-degree murder. He is now serving a life sentence, with no possibility of parole, in a Tennessee State Prison.
#1 What About The Children?
Heather’s children, who are now essentially orphans, are living with cousins in Tennessee. Family friends have started an organization called “Zumba for Heather” to help pay some of their living expenses, and things are looking up for the youngsters. Still, they’ll likely be constantly haunted by the reality of what their father did.
For most people, losing weight is the start of an exciting and life-changing journey. For Heather Palumbo-Jones, however, it set her and her family on a path towards utter destruction. All she wanted to do was get her life under control — we doubt she ever expected it would lead to her murder!
Heather’s story is certainly unusual, but it brings to light an important point… you can never be sure enough about who you marry! If there are warning signs, it may be best to get out and stay out!
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