Rachael Madison went missing days after she tried to escape from her estranged husband, who was allegedly abusive, officials say

By Harriet Sokmensuer
December 05, 2016 04:30 PM
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Federal officials have found the body of Rachael Madison, the woman who vanished while jogging along a Florida beach last week after fleeing her estranged and allegedly abusive husband, PEOPLE confirms.

On Friday night, unidentified human remains were found in a remote area on the side of a highway in Knoxville, Tennessee. Officials announced the discovery Saturday, believing the remains belonged to the 44-year-old, though the identity was not confirmed until Monday.

Madison’s husband, Jarvis Madison, was arrested Friday morning, on an arrest warrant from Indiana State Police, for criminal confinement charges. Following his arrest, authorities acquired information that led them to the body’s location more than 200 miles away, according to the FBI’s statement.

It is unclear whether Jarvis has an attorney or has entered a plea to his charges. He currently remains in custody in Indiana. Neither he nor Rachael’s family could be reached for comment.

She went missing on Nov. 27 during a jog along the beach in Ormond-by-the-Sea, Florida, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant previously told PEOPLE.

“The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the FBI are with Ms. Madison’s family, and we remain committed to finding answers through our ongoing investigation,” said Charles P. Spencer, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

Rachael’s Family Alleges Abuse

Rachael’s aunt, Thelma Newsom, told police Rachael moved to Florida days before her disappearance to get away from Jarvis, according to a Volusia County police report obtained by PEOPLE.

On Nov. 14, Jarvis allegedly held Rachael hostage at gunpoint and fired a gun at her after finding out she wanted to leave him, the police report states.

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According to the report, citing Newsom, Rachael was covered in scars from her husband’s alleged abuse — including one on her back, after Jarvis allegedly poured acid on a tattoo, and several on her neck, after Jarvis allegedly cut her with a knife.

Days before Rachael vanished, Jarvis frequently called her and her family members, threatening to kill her if she did not come back to him, the police report alleges. On the day of her disappearance, Newsom claimed Jarvis tried one last time to reach his wife, 30 minutes before she went for her run.

The couple were homeless and lived between motels in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, police say. They sometimes lived in Jarvis’s 2011 silver Honda Pilot.