That article was inspired by a story imparted by a woman — whose identity will remain anonymous — who is one of greater than a dozen micro-entrepreneurs in a program in which I am one of the volunteer mentors. During a meeting which I attended where the topic was for each participant to give a presentation or speech of no greater than three minutes describing their companies; why people should invest in them; and what benefits they and their companies will provide to the local community, this particular woman had begun her presentation — only to stumble and apologize profusely twice, taking a long moment each time before continuing. She had then suddenly spontaneously broke away from what she planned on speaking about her company and launched into an emotional tribute to a friend who had died along with her husband and unborn child earlier yesterday — and everyone in the room was stunned at the tragic news; but details were not revealed by the woman that night.
“You really need to come to Asheville,” the friend — originally from Biloxi, Mississippi and relocated to Los Angeles before moving to the small city nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina — had said to her seven days earlier. “It is really nice here. You will love it.”
I found out from an e-mail message which I received this morning from the micro-entrepreneur that the friend to whom she was referring was Cristie Schoen-Codd, who was 38 years old and five months pregnant with her first child — as well as a finalist on a television program called Food Network Star. They — as well as Joseph “JT” Codd, who was 45 years old and the husband of Cristie — were allegedly murdered in their home on Monday, March 16, 2015 by Robert Jason Owens, who is 37 years old and lived only half of a mile away from the family in Leicester, which is a town located in the Asheville area of North Carolina. Joseph and Cristie Codd had hired him as a contractor to work on their home. Their remains were reportedly found in a wood stove in the home of Owens.
Not realizing how relevant and poignant the article which I first wrote was in relation to this case, Cristie loved to travel as well as cook. Her last trip before her untimely death was to Belize, where she wasting some of the “craziest” foods. She was apparently adventurous; open to new experiences; and truly loved food, people and travel. Her life had always been about love and sharing with others, as evidenced by this video, which was compiled by a friend who posted it on Facebook. As I am not a member of Facebook, I am not able to post it in this article.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Cristie Schoen-Codd; her husband Joseph; and their unborn child. May they rest in peace…
…and my thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends who have been forced to deal with this sad and senseless tragedy — including the woman from whom I first learned of this story, who is still attempting to process the shock of what happened…
Photographs of Cristie Schoen-Codd and Joseph “JT” Codd are courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office of Buncombe County, North Carolina.