Body of missing teacher found
(WMC-TV) - The body of missing Germantown teacher Heather Palumbo-Jones was recovered in the area of Collierville-Arlington Road and Highway 64 in Memphis Tuesday night.
Family said it has been the hardest week of their life as they waited for answers, trying not to fear the worst – until they learned she was found dead.
"It's difficult to live with," said Heather's grandmother Betty Palumbo.
Heather Palumbo-Jones was Betty and Frank Palumbo's first granddaughter.
"It's been the most difficult week of my life," said Frank.
Heather's estranged husband Chris Jones was charged with second degree murder Wednesday.
Investigators said he confessed to an altercation that led to her immediate death the night before she was reported missing. Germantown Police said he gave information that led them to her body.
"I can't really fathom someone doing what they did to her, it's just difficult for me to understand anybody doing that," said Frank.
The grandparents said they knew their granddaughter wasn't happy in her marriage, and that they had bad vibes about Jones from the beginning.
Heather Palumbo-Jones was last seen Monday, April 15. Jones, a kindergarten teacher at Frayser Achievement School, did not report to work the next day.
Her car was in the driveway, but her purse, keys and cell phone were missing.
Investigators searched around the couple's home Wednesday and also searched a nearby pond Sunday. They found no sign of the missing teacher.
Jones' estranged husband Chris Jones denied any involvement in his wife's disappearance.
He told Action News 5 that he was blind sided when she filed for divorce.
"We were a very happy beautiful family right up until the day before she decided to leave abruptly," he said.
The two separated in early January. Heather also filed for an order of protection from her husband. He claims the order of protection stemmed from a minor argument over a phone.
While the family picks up the pieces, they worry about the two children left behind.
"It's very difficult the children don't know what's going on and when they find out it's going to be a shock to them," said Frank.
Frank said if Jones is his granddaughter's killer he can forgive him with time.
"I don't hold any grudges, but if he's the culprit they ought to take care of him with the laws," said Frank.
The Achievement School District, which employed Jones, released the following statement Wednesday:
Today, we are grieving from the loss of Heather Jones, one of our teachers--and a great human being who filled our schools with joy.
We were notified earlier that we lost Heather. She was a Kindergarten teacher at Frayser Achievement Elementary School. Heather was a model teacher, bringing the love and joy of life and learning to her students and fellow teachers daily. She brought a spirit to the Frayser community that will never be replaced. Her dedication to her students was evident in everything she did, and her legacy will live with us forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with Heather's children and family--and the entire Frayser Elementary community--at this difficult time.
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