Joanne “Jo” Ringer and Charles “Chad” Reidy were newlyweds starting a new life together in Clarksburg, Massachusetts. But in March 2017, just months after their wedding, Jo went missing, leaving everyone wondering what happened. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Fatal Vows: Deadly Isolation’ chronicles the inquiry that followed her vanishing and how the search for her ended in tragedy. So, let’s find out more then, shall we?
How Did Joanne Ringer Die?
Joanne “Jo” Ringer was born in January 1978 in Northampton, Massachusetts. After attending school, she worked various jobs, including being a model for automotive events and a bartender. The 39-year-old loved scrapbooking and was very interested in motorcycles. She also enjoyed playing video games and baking. Jo was the loving mother to a then-teenage daughter, Savanah. At the time of the incident, things had been looking up for her. She landed a job with a transport company in Easthampton, Massachusetts, and looked forward to her first day.
The last time anyone saw Jo was on March 2, 2017, when she was with Charles “Chad” Reidy at their home. That evening, Jo was supposed to head out to her first day of work as a taxi driver. But when Chad returned from his overnight shift on March 3, Jo was nowhere to be seen. After looking for her everywhere, he reported her missing on March 4, 2017. It wasn’t until about a year later that her skeletal remains were found in Hatfield, Massachusetts. Jo was identified using dental records, but given the state of the remains, a cause of death could not be established.
Who Killed Joanne Ringer?
Chad and Jo met in 2015 and hit it off instantly due to their mutual love for Volkswagen vehicles. They married in December 2016. At the time of the incident, they were residing in Clarksburg after buying a home there. The two had many animals on the farm and planned to purchase cattle later. Chad told the police that on March 2, 2017, they had breakfast together when Jo had gotten a call and left to meet somebody. Chad added he met some friends and returned around 1 pm, but Jo still wasn’t home.
On March 3, 2017, Chad checked with the transport company Jo was to start working for and learned she never showed up. He then reported her missing the following day because of the belief that he had to wait 24 hours before going to the police. On March 6, 2017, Jo’s car was found abandoned close to her workplace, but that didn’t provide any new clues regarding her whereabouts. While Chad presented the image of a happy couple, loved ones weren’t so sure. In the time leading up to Jo’s disappearance, there were a lot of issues in their relationship.
Text messages between the two and Jo’s messages to friends showed the volatility in the relationship. Chad and Jo often argued and insulted each other. In some messages, Jo alluded to Chad being physically and verbally abusive, adding that he was “shady” and a “degrading jerk.” In November 2016, before the wedding, Jo wrote to a friend on Facebook, “I’m just sitting here in the dark and trying to figure out how to soothe myself… but there is no consoling my heartache. I’m dying everywhere but physically at the moment.”
Just days later, Jo mentioned things escalating at home; Chad allegedly threatened to kill the animals on their property. Jo accused Chad of smashing her gaming system and felt she wasn’t safe with him. Despite all that, she married him in December 2016. Just days after their ceremony, Chad allegedly beat Jo and held a gun to her head, choking her until she passed out. In addition, Jo told friends that if something happened to her, Chad would be the one responsible. It seemed like Jo was looking for a way out of the relationship.
Therefore, the authorities placed a tracking device on Chad’s vehicle, hoping to find clues. But his trips seemed erratic. On March 28, 2017, Chad drove from Clarksburg to Stamford, Vermont, but stayed there only for five minutes before returning home. In another instance, he attached a trailer hitch to his car. The police believed he used that to move Jo’s body to a remote area possibly. The investigators also learned that Chad deleted multiple texts on his phone and Facebook between him and Jo. They also believed he used a second phone to cover up the crime.
During Chad’s preliminary polygraph screening, he kept asking for details about Jo’s car, raising suspicion. Later, the police realized that Jo’s car was found five minutes away from the house of Chad’s ex-girlfriend, Laura Reilly. She was later convicted of lying to the police. As per reports, she knew about Jo missing when Chad had asked her to lie about it. Laura claimed to have gotten a text from Chad on March 2, asking her to meet in Northampton. She then said they drove to his place in separate cars. However, surveillance videos showed that Laura drove him back to Clarksburg in her vehicle. Then, despite meeting Chad the following day, she claimed she hadn’t.
How Did Chad Reidy Die?
The authorities always considered Chad the only suspect in the disappearance of Jo, but they didn’t reveal that until after his death. Given the erratic behavior and the history of alleged abuse as seen in text messages, the police investigated it as a homicide. But they couldn’t get any more answers from Chad because on April 7, 2017, the authorities found his body in the garage after going there for a welfare check. The cause of death was asphyxiation by carbon monoxide; Chad had killed himself.
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