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Contractor Arrested in Murder of Food Network Star

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A man has been charged with three counts of murder in the disappearances of Food Network star Cristie Schoen Codd, her husband, Joseph T. Codd, and their unborn child.

Robert Jason Owens, 36, was arrested on Monday in Leicester, North Carolina, and formally charged on Tuesday in the family’s disappearances, according to the Citizen-Times.

Schoen Codd was best known for her appearance on season 8 of the competition series Food Network Star in 2012. A location chef, she provided catering for several major Hollywood films, like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Ender’s Game and Get On Up.

The couple were first reported missing over the weekend by concerned family members, NBC reports. Investigators found the couple’s cars and dogs at their North Carolina home, but there was no sign of them.

“As soon as I walked in, I knew something was wrong,” friend Cecilia Owens, who is related by marriage to Robert Jason Owens, told the Citizen-Times. “Just the look of the place, and she had left the dogs and she never would leave her dogs – those were her babies.”

Robert Jason Owens, a contractor whom the couple had hired to work on their home, lived just a mile away from the Codds. Police have not released a motive for the killing, nor have they said whether the couple’s bodies have been found.

Owens allegedly broke into the couple’s home on Sunday, stealing a laptop and a Glock handgun, the Citizen-Times reports.

Robert Jason Owens
Owens was charged with two counts of felony first-degree murder, felony murder of an unborn child, breaking and entering, and larceny.

“What would anybody have to gain by killing two such good people and their unborn child? We’re all trying to make sense of it,” friend Amy Carson told NBC.

Owens is also suspected in the disappearance of 18-year-old Zebb Quinn, who vanished in January 2000.

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