FBI: Accused killer admits shooting wife, photographing body

VIDEO: Accused killer says wife 'went to be with Jesus'
Jarvis Wayne Madison (Source: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)
Jarvis Wayne Madison (Source: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)
Rachael Madison (Source: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)
Rachael Madison (Source: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The husband of a Clark County woman whose remains were found near a Tennessee highway last week has been charged with kidnapping resulting in death.

After 58-year-old Jarvis Wayne Madison was charged in court Tuesday, he tearfully asked the judge, "With my wife deceased, what will I do?"

"I don't know how to answer that," was the reply from Clark County Court was Judge Vicki Carmichael.

The defendant then turned to reporters and said he loved his wife, Rachael Madison, insisting that he neither kidnapped nor killed her.

When WAVE 3 News asked Madison what happened to Rachael, he responded "my wife went home." WAVE 3 News asked Madison where his wife went, Madison said his wife went "to be with Jesus." Madison also told WAVE 3 News that he did not kidnap Rachael, and that he loved her.

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The FBI on Monday identified the remains found Friday near Knoxville, Tenn., as those of missing jogger Rachael Madison. The Indiana mother had not been seen or heard from for nearly a week.

Investigators said Madison left Clark County to get away from her husband in mid-November. She went to Florida to stay with a relative, but while out on a run, she disappeared. On Friday, Jarvis Wayne Madison was taken into custody in Louisville during a traffic stop for an unrelated warrant in Clark County. Later that night, his wife's body was found in Tennessee.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Florida, the FBI said Jarvis Wayne Madison showed up at the home of a female acquaintance in Buckhannon, West Virginia on the morning of November 29. Madison was driving the 2011 silver Honda Pilot and parked some distance from her home. The acquaintance told agents she had previously purchased a handgun for Madison.

After his arrest, Madison told FBI agents that he had gone to Ormond Beach, Florida to give his wife her belongings. He said the two kissed and she got into the SUV with him.

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Madison went on to say that while they were traveling in the vehicle, he shot Rachael three times and she died. Madison told agents the gun was inside the Pilot and that he buried Rachael in the Smoky Mountains.

Agents said Madison agreed to help them find Rachael's body. On the night of December 2, Madison took agents to an area off Interstate 40 near Kodak, Tennessee where the partially buried body of Rachael was found.

The gun was found inside the Pilot that same day after the FBI obtained a search warrant from a federal magistrate. in addition to the loaded .45 caliber pistol, agents found human blood stains in the front passenger seat area, cell phones belonging to the Madisons and a receipt for the purchase of a shovel.

An examination of Jarvis Madison's phone revealed photos of the body of Rachael Madison.

"There wasn't any kind of negligence or malfeasance or anything that went wrong in this case that resulted in the death, it was simply the result of what I believed to be, based on the evidence, an individual who was determined to find her and take her and kill her and he did that," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.

The couple was married for only a few years, but court records detail a rocky and abusive relationship between the Madisons. In 2013, Jarvis Wayne Madison was found guilty of criminal trespassing after he was charged with unlawfully restraining his wife, assaulting and stealing from her. The judge ordered him to have no contact with her or her two young children from a previous marriage.

In 2014, Rachael Madison was arrested for custodial interference after picking up her two boys from school in Nelson County and then fleeing the area. They were found safe in Bowling Green 17 days later. At that time, authorities were looking for the same Honda Pilot Jarvis Madison was arrested while driving on Friday.

Then, last month, Rachael Madison begged her aunt, Joyce Newsom, to pick her up in Clark County after she told police Jarvis Madison had held her against her will.

Newsom told authorities in Florida that her niece was looking forward to a fresh start as she worked on her resume, but on Nov. 27, Rachael Madison went out for a run and never returned.

According to a police report, Newsom suspected Jarvis from the beginning, telling investigators that he had abused her niece in the past. Newsom gave detailed information that Rachael Madison used to have a tattoo on her back until her husband poured acid on her, leaving a large burn. Newsom also said her niece had a scar on her neck from a different incident where Jarvis Madison cut her with a knife.

The FBI said information gathered in the investigation led federal agents and Indiana State Police to a remote area off of I-40 near Knoxville where they discovered a woman's body. The FBI confirmed Monday that the remains are those of Rachael Madison.

"The best interest of justice is that he would be promptly taken to Florida where he can be held accountable for the allegation that he murdered her," Mull said.

It's still not clear how Rachael Madison died.

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