LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — He worked as a grip handling camera equipment. His newlywed wife was a set caterer and season 8 contestant on 2012 “Food Network Star.” (Codd, then known as Christie Schoen, was that season’s first eliminated contestant.)
Joseph “JT” Codd and Christie Codd were married about six months ago and expecting a child; she was reportedly five months along.
CBS2’s Juan Fernandez reports they were also about to work on new movie projects but never made it. He was scheduled to work in LA, she in Biloxi.
The Codds (she was 38 and he was 45) recently moved to North Carolina but kept their strong show business connections intact.
All of that, however, was shattered when the two were reported missing Sunday and later found slain. Their vehicles were found at their residence along with their two dogs.
The couple’s handyman, Bobert Jason Owens, 36, has been charged with first-degree murder, breaking and entering, and larceny. He is also charged with the murder of an unborn child.
Fernandez spoke to L.A. friends of the murdered couple in a story that is Only On 2.
Friends like writer/producer Perry Sachs got the news the couple was missing on Sunday and then came worse news.
“My heart stopped. It just turned into a rock, into stone in my chest,” said Sachs.
Another friend, actor A.J. Buckley, said the couple employed Owens and paid him to do odd jobs around the house.
“They didn’t need a handyman; they were just trying to help him out,” says Buckley. “They knew he needed money.”
The friends said Owens was even invited to the couple’s wedding.
Police theorized that Owens killed the couple Thursday then went back to the home to steal their laptop, jewelry and a handgun.
“She’s five months pregnant. How can anyone kill a pregnant woman? And this guy knew she was pregnant,” said Buckley.
Fernandez said the couple’s friends are in shock.
They remember J.T. as a loving, bigger-than-life guy who would go out of his way to help others. Christie was the same.
“I know the three of them are together, and they’re at peace and they don’t have to go through this,” says Sachs.
Investigators are also trying to determine if Owens is linked to the disappearance of a co-worker 15 years ago.
Meanwhile, friends tell Fernandez the Codds were so well-liked in Los Angeles, they hope to have a memorial here so people can come together to pay their respects and remember them.