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Murrieta Man Questioned In Murder of His Mrs

  • Apr 28, 2008 11:01 pm US/Pacific

MURRIETA Police say that a 40-year-old Murrieta man told them that he returned home from an early morning shopping trip to find his wife murdered in their bedroom.

Police confirm the woman, whose name was not released, was the victim of foul play.

She was found dead in the couple's bedroom in the 36000 block of Tamarisk Street, according to Murrieta police Lt. Dennis Vrooman.

The woman's husband called police just before 9 a.m. Monday. He told them that he returned from a 45-minute shopping trip to find his garage door forced-open and his wife unconscious upstairs, Vrooman said.

Medics were called to the scene but the woman was pronounced dead at
9:08 a.m., the lieutenant said.

Investigators took the husband to the station for further questioning, Vrooman said.

The couple lived in the house with their two children -- a 12-year-old girl and 6- month-old boy -- but neither child was home when their mother was murdered.

The children reportedly spent the night at the home of their maternal grandmother who lives across the street from the victim and her husband, police said.

(© 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


Cops: Murrieta Man Killed His Wife For Insurance $

·  May 23, 2008 5:42 pm US/Pacific

MURRIETA Prosecutors say a Murrieta man murdered his wife for $1 million in insurance money.

Kelle Lee Jarka, 39, is behind bars after being arrested Thursday, according to police and prosecutors.

He is accused of killing Isabelle Jarka, 40, April 28 in the bedroom of the couple's home in the 39000 block of Tamarisk St., said Murrieta police Lt. Dennis Vrooman.

She had suffered head trauma, Vrooman said.

Weeks before his wife's death, Jarka had taken out life insurance policies on her totaling more than $1 million, and investigators believe he set up the crime scene to make it look like a burglary.

Following a nearly month-long investigation, Jarka was arrested Thursday by detectives as he sat in Family Court, waiting for a custody hearing to get his children back, Vrooman said.

The children -- a 12-year-old girl and a 7-month-old boy -- had been
staying with relatives, he said.

Jarka will be charged with murder and a sentence-enhancing special circumstance allegation of murder for financial gain.

If convicted he could be sentenced to death or life in prison, said Ryan Hightower of the District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say Jarka murdered his wife and then staged the crime scene to look like a robbery. The day Isabelle Jarka died, her husband told police he had gone out early that morning to buy some things and when he returned he found the side door to the garage forced open and his wife dead upstairs.

Jarka's initial call to emergency dispatch was to report a burglary, and he waited 26 seconds before revealing his wife may have been murdered, Vrooman said.

During the police investigation, Jarka told officers he had gone to pick up baby formula, even though there was plenty of formula in the house, and
his other statements were inconsistent with evidence collected at the scene, Vrooman said.

The couple's children had spent the night before at their grandparents' home across the street.

The Jarkas belonged to a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation, and neighbors said they pretty much kept to themselves, except when Isabelle joined others in her congregation to knock on neighborhood doors.

Jarka is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the Murrieta Courthouse.

(© 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


Kelle Jarka
MURRIETA: Husband arrested in wife's murder

By JOHN HALL - Staff Writer

MURRIETA ---- The husband of a Murrieta woman found bludgeoned to death in her home last month was arrested Thursday and charged with her murder, authorities said.

Kelle Lee Jarka, 39, was arrested around 10:30 a.m. as he left Family Law Court at Southwest Justice Center in French Valley, said Murrieta police Detective Sgt. Jim Ganley. Jarka was attempting to regain custody of his two young children who were taken from him after their mother's death, Ganley said.

"We have evidence to show he staged a burglary to cover up that he is responsible for the death of his wife," the sergeant said.

The morning of April 28, Isabelle Jarka, 40, was found in the master bedroom of the couple's home on Tamarisk Street.

A coroner's autopsy later determined she had been hit at least 11 times on the head with a blunt object. Police have not recovered a murder weapon.

Kelle Jarka called 911 about 8:45 a.m. that morning to report that he returned home after a short shopping trip to find the home broken into, ransacked and his wife's body upstairs, police said.

"When he initially called 911, he did not reveal the death of his wife until 26 seconds into the call," Ganley said.

The murder investigation that followed led detectives to believe that Isabelle Jarka was not killed randomly by a burglar, police said.

"Detectives and forensic techs with the state Department of Justice painstakingly analyzed evidence in this case," Ganley said.

There were also several statements by Kelle Jarka that appeared to detectives to be inconsistent with the evidence.

Kelle Jarka told police he left the home that morning to run errands, including getting more baby formula for the couple's infant child. However, there was plenty of baby formula found in the home, police say.

Riverside County Deputy District Attorney John Davis said Thursday that, along with the murder count, a special allegation has been filed against Jarka alleging he committed the crime for financial gain.

"It is widely known that they were having domestic difficulties," Davis said with no further elaboration.

The prosecutor said life insurance policies on Isabelle Jarka listing her husband as the beneficiary had recently been taken out.

"There are at least three, that we know of so far, totaling around $1 million taken out within two weeks before the murder," Davis said.

The allegation that Kelle Jarka committed the murder for purposes of financial gain mean he could ultimately face the death penalty.

District Attorney Rod Pacheco ultimately will decide whether to request that a jury sentence him to death.

As now charged, the minimum sentence Jarka could face would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Jarka is being held without the possibility of bail and is scheduled to be arraigned either Friday or Tuesday, Davis said.

Contact staff writer John Hall at (951) 676-4315, Ext. 2628, or


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