At 1030 hours this morning, detectives from the Murrieta Police
On 4/28/2008 at 0845 hours the Murrieta Police Department responded to the Jarka home in the 39600 block of Tamarisk St. Kelle Jarka called 9-1-1 to report his home had been burglarized while he left the residence to run errands which included shopping for more baby formula, despite the fact there was plenty of baby formula in the home.
Over the past month, Murrieta detectives and forensic investigators from the California Department of Justice have been diligently and painstakingly analyzing evidence collected from the family home, Kelle Jarka’s vehicles and his personal belongings. On the morning of April 28th, Kelle Jarka’s initial call to 9-1-1 was to report the burglary and he did not immediately reveal to police dispatchers that his wife may have been murdered until 26 seconds into the call.
Detectives have been able to determine several of Kelle Jarka’s initial and subsequent statements were inconsistent with the substantial amount of the evidence collected at the crime scene as well as additional evidence discovered over the course of the investigation.
Detectives believe the forensic evidence demonstrates Kelle Jarka intentionally staged the crime scene to make his home appear to have been burglarized by an intruder. Detectives believe Kelle Jarka intentionally destroyed some of the physical evidence before he called police. Additionally, Kelle Jarka purchased several life insurance policies in his wife’s name within weeks of her murder and totaled over $1,000,000 in value.
The murder of Isabelle Jarka appears to be a case of domestic
violence. Since 2003, six of the last eight homicides in Murrieta
have been domestic violence related, where the victim was murdered
either by an estranged or current boyfriend or husband. One
additional homicide during this period involved the murder of an infant
by the mother’s boyfriend.
First Middle Last Gender Age City
Kelle Lee Jarka M 39 Murrieta
Charges: Murder; with a special circumstances allegation that
the murder was committed for
Violent end to a life spent making
10:17 AM PDT on Wednesday, July 9, 2008
By TAMMY J. McCOY
Hiding behind corners to surprise unsuspecting loved ones as they walked by -- memories of
such antics are all that Isabelle Alexandra Jarka's family has left.
The 40-year-old mother of two was found dead April 28 inside her Murrieta home, and much of the information about her slaying remains solely within the purview of investigators and
Isabelle's husband, Kelle Lee Jarka, has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges that
make him eligible for the death penalty if convicted. His attorney did not return calls seeking comment.
Jarka, 39, waits in a Riverside County jail cell until his trial. Today would have marked the couple's 19th wedding anniversary. Isabelle Jarka had spent nearly half of her life married to Kelle when Murrieta police found her on the floor of her home. A pool of blood was near her head. Her skull had been hit more than 10 times with a blunt object, according to police and court records.
It was a violent, ugly end to a life spent making others smile.
Her sister, Maritza Trelak, recalls that Jarka occasionally would amuse herself by poking a
finger into the middle of the newspaper, scaring the reader.
Her penchant for silly antics did not perish with her. The Jarkas' 12-year-old daughter is
following in her mother's footsteps, said Trelak, who spoke on her family's behalf.
Jarka also enjoyed entertaining people at her home, and relatives raved about her cooking,
especially Italian cuisine. She was a gourmet chef who listened to tenor Andrea Bocelli and poured her creative talents into interior decorating and sewing.
"She loved providing the best for her family," Trelak said.
Inside the Jarkas' spacious Murrieta home, which was opened to the public for an estate
sale, were several bookcases filled with magazines and books devoted to cooking,
dieting, fitness, home decorating and ways to improve one's appearance.
The youngest of three sisters, Jarka grew up in La Mirada, a suburb of Los Angeles County, in a home where her mother, Tina Canchola, cooked breakfast, packed their lunches and had dinner ready when their father, Elias, came home from work, said Trelak.
Jarka grew into a warm, compassionate woman, Trelak said.
The family moved to Missouri in the late 1980s because of their father's job. Jarka, a Jehovah's Witness, was living there when she met Illinois resident Kelle.
Kelle Jarka's uncle introduced them during a religious event, said Trelak.
They married July 7, 1989, and honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico, where Isabelle Jarka developed a stomach ailment from the local cuisine, causing the couple to return home earlier than planned, Trelak said.
For their second wedding anniversary, Kelle Jarka gave his wife a diamond tennis bracelet.
She was excited about the gift and had trouble unwrapping the jewelry box, a videotape of the anniversary party shows.
When she saw the bracelet, her face lit up with a big smile. She kissed her husband, a brief peck on the lips, then displayed the bracelet for all to see.
Isabelle wore the bracelet often and planned to pass it on to her daughter, Trelak said.
Kelle Jarka listed the bracelet among the items he reported missing from their home after his
wife's death, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Jim Ganley.
In 2007, Jarka learned she was pregnant with the couple's second child.
It was a happy accident, a pregnancy that was not planned but absolutely welcomed, Trelak
"And once she found out it was a boy, well that was a source of pure joy to her. It just made her family feel 'complete,'" Trelak said.
Six months later, the Jarkas' infant son was in his parents' master bedroom, police said, not far from his mother when she was beaten to death.
Reach Tammy J. McCoy at 951-375-3729 or
Death penalty not sought in Murrieta slaying
10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, September 11, 2008
By TAMMY J. McCOY
Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco decided against seeking the death penalty in the case of a Murrieta man charged with murder for financial gain in connection with his wife's April slaying, officials announced Thursday.
Kelle Lee Jarka , 40, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of murder for monetary benefit after the bludgeoning death of his wife, Isabelle, in their Murrieta home.
On April 28, with their infant son nearby, Isabelle Jarka was repeatedly beaten on the head with a blunt object in the couple's bedroom, according to police and court records. Kelle Jarka had taken out $1 million in life insurance on his 40-year-old wife weeks before her death and the family home was in foreclosure, authorities and public records state.
All of the facts of the Jarka case were taken into consideration before a decision was reached, said Michael Jeandron, a spokesman for the district attorney's office. Pacheco was not available for comment.
Since Pacheco's term began in 2007, the office has pursued the death penalty in 10 of 11 cases where a decision was announced, according to a search of published reports and the district attorney's web site.
Jeandron said the figures are not accurate, adding that not every decision is made public.
"We have many cases where we have chosen life without the possibility of parole," he said.
He could not provide specific information. Reactions to the decision varied in Isabelle Jarka's family, with her parents favoring the death penalty.
"If you take a human life not for reasons of self-defense, yours should be taken," her parents Elias and Tina Canchola said in an e-mailed statement. "No words can possibly describe the pain, suffering and heartache experienced at the loss of your child."
Isabelle's sister, Laura McGraw, was satisfied with Pacheco's decision.
"I feel that life in prison without possibility of parole is duly deserved," McGraw said in an e-mailed statement.
Kelle Jarka's defense lawyers did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.
By SARAH BURGE
MURRIETA - A 40-year-old mother of two was killed in her Murrieta home Monday morning, authorities said.
Coroner's officials identified the woman as Isabelle Jarka.
Her 39-year-old husband called 911 about 8:45 a.m. Monday to say he stepped out to run errands and returned to find his Tamarisk Street home ransacked and his wife unconscious in their bedroom, said Murrieta police Lt. Dennis Vrooman.
When police arrived, Jarka's mother, who lives across the street, was already there, Vrooman said.
An officer and paramedics tried to revive Jarka, but she was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 9 a.m., Vrooman said.
Sgt. Jim Ganley said that as of late Monday afternoon investigators were still interviewing the husband and that they had no suspect information to release.
The husband told police he had gone out for less than an hour to pick up coffee and baby formula. When he returned, the husband said, he found that a side door to the garage had been forced open.
Jarka had suffered head injuries, including cuts on her forehead, but it was not immediately clear how the injuries were inflicted, Ganley said.
The couple's 12-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son were at their grandparents' house across the street, where they had spent the night, Ganley said.
At the crime scene Monday, a quiet street with newer two-story homes with two-car garages, neighbors gathered in their driveways trading information about the killing and the family of the woman who died.
"They're Jehovah's Witnesses," said Kristine Scott, who lives down the street, "so they kind of keep to themselves. They're kind of introverted."
Scott said she had been up since 4 a.m., but did not hear any unusual noises. She did not even realize anything had happened until she looked outside to find the neighborhood lined with police tape.
Another neighbor, Sharon Hicks, said the oldest homes in the neighborhood were built about seven years ago and the family of the woman who died had lived there since then.
Hicks and other neighbors said groups of Jehovah's Witnesses sometimes would park at Jarka's parents' home and proselytize around the neighborhood.
Neighbor Kim Papazoglou said Jarka's husband worked in construction and was always cordial when she met him picking up the mail. She said Jarka home-schooled their child.
"This is a quiet little neighborhood," Papazoglou said. "We never see anything like this."
Staff writer Tammy J. McCoy contributed to this report.