NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 33-year-old man was taken into custody in South Carolina after he reportedly killed his wife inside their Goodlettsville apartment last month.
The body of 32-year-old Karlie Judge was found during a welfare check at an apartment on Northcreek Boulevard on May 17.
Officers were called to the residence after Karlie’s employer reported she had not shown up to work for two consecutive shifts.
Detectives entered the apartment and found Karlie’s body lying in a pool of blood with a wound on the crown of her head in a bedroom amid signs of a struggle, according to arrest documents.
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Investigators determined the victim shared the apartment with Jeffrey Judge. When detectives went to Karlie’s job, two co-workers reportedly told them she had recently been having domestic issues with her husband. The co-workers said Jeffrey had threatened to kill Karlie and himself within the past week.
Detectives began searching for Jeffrey’s vehicle via license plate reader technology and discovered it was in the Horry County, South Carolina area, according to arrest documents.
Jeffrey was stopped by Horry County law enforcement and taken into custody. Arrest documents said he had hair consistent with the victim’s hair on his clothing, a blood spot on his shoe and a scratch mark on his right arm consistent with a defensive wound.
He was booked into the Metro jail and charged with criminal homicide. He reportedly gave a full confession once he was captured.
Goodlettsville Police Detective Stephen Hodges told News 2 the department had no history of calls for service to the couple’s residence.
However, the co-founder of Tennessee Voices for Victims, Verna Wyatt, said domestic violence can quickly escalate.
“Whenever domestic violence is happening, the emotional and verbal is always happening, the physical isn’t always happening,” Wyatt said. “We’ve had victims who were in domestic violence relationships, who when they left the relationship their abuser tried to kill them when he had never tried to lay a hand on them before, because domestic violence is about power and control.”
“Although I haven’t seen Karlie since she moved to Maryland in 2000, I remember her fondly. She was one of my good friends growing up….a bubbly, kind, easy-going girl. Karlie endured many hardships in life, but her strong will and free-spirit allowed her to overcome anything. Her kind heart was not broken by adversities, but strengthened by them. Karlie’s bright, loving spirit will live on forever. She will never be forgotten,” said childhood friend of Karlie, Hannah Staton.
For anyone in a crisis, help is out there. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said Karlie Judge was beaten to death. Investigators later clarified she died from a gunshot wound to the head.