Tina Caronna Murder: Where is Joe Caronna Now?

Tina Caronna, a prominent figure in the Memphis community of Tennessee, enjoyed a prestigious social circle and had a devoted husband. She was in the process of purchasing a spacious new home in Fayetteville County, Georgia. However, her life stopped short when she disappeared in October 2008. Her body was discovered inside her car, which had been abandoned on a street in a residential neighborhood in Bartlett, Tennessee. Peacock’s ‘Sins of the South’ episode ‘Terror in Tennessee’ explores the investigation surrounding her disappearance and the subsequent apprehension of her killer.

Tina Caronna’s Body Was Found Inside Her Car

Born on December 10, 1963, Tina ‘Rene’ Murphy Caronna was raised by Clara and James Murphy alongside her brother, Scott Murphy. Tina exhibited independence and determination from a young age, which defined her adulthood. Despite not pursuing higher education, she carved out a successful career as the vice president of the financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald, achieving financial stability. Tina’s life included marriage, motherhood, and welcoming a son named Todd Gray. However, her marriage ultimately ended in divorce.

Tina and Joe Caronna

Tina had a deep passion for shoes and often visited a store where Joseph “Joe” Caronna worked. Their encounter in 1993 sparked a romance that swiftly led to marriage in October of the same year. Joe embraced Tina’s son, Todd, with love and care, assuming a fatherly role. Tina, in turn, cherished Joe as a devoted husband who showered her with frequent gifts. Soon, Joe ventured into business, establishing Caronna Investments. The couple were also active members of the Corvette Memphis club, where Tina was president-elect.

With a lifestyle filled with luxury cars, lavish vacations to exotic destinations, and frequent visits to casinos, the couple appeared to be living the dream life. However, their idyllic world crashed on October 25, 2008, when Joe contacted the police around 11 pm to report Tina missing. An extensive search ensued, culminating in the discovery of Tina’s Chevrolet Avalanche parked along a street in Bartlett, Tennessee, on October 27.

Upon inspecting the vehicle, authorities noticed a foot protruding from beneath a blanket, leading them to suspect the presence of a deceased individual inside. They transported the car to the police station for further examination, where Tina’s lifeless body was discovered. She had her hands and feet tied with duct tape and exhibited bruises primarily on her back and ankles, along with broken fingernails, indicating signs of a struggle. According to the coroner’s report, Tina’s cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation, further corroborating the evidence of a violent altercation.

The Neighbour saw Tina Caronna’s Killer

Joe Caronna’s assertion that Tina may have fallen victim to a carjacking was met with skepticism by the police. Despite his claim, the expensive jewelry Tina was wearing remained untouched, and the location where the car was discovered was typically devoid of violent crime, making the carjacking theory implausible. Recognizing inconsistencies in Joe’s account, authorities shifted their focus towards him as a potential suspect.

The investigation took a turn when the police discovered that Joe had been engaged in an extramarital affair with a woman named Becky Black. Initially hesitant to cooperate, Black eventually reached out to authorities several months later, expressing discomfort with Joe’s increasingly demanding behavior. Despite being married herself, she disclosed the affair to her husband and sought to sever ties with Joe. According to Black, Tina had been aware of the affair, which had persisted for several years. To gather evidence, Black agreed to engage Joe in conversation while wearing a wire. Their meeting in a parking lot failed to elicit a confession from Joe regarding Tina’s death.

Soon, a friend of Tina’s contacted the police, revealing that she had taken out an insurance plan through Joe’s company. Suspicion arose when it was discovered that the friend had received a payment from the insurance plan, but the funds were withdrawn from Tina’s checking account rather than the company’s account. This discrepancy pointed to financial fraud, prompting authorities to delve deeper into Joe’s financial activities, ultimately leading them to uncover crucial evidence.

The investigation revealed that Joe had been engaged in embezzlement, money laundering, and financial fraud, targeting Tina’s friends and associates who had invested with his company. Additionally, it was discovered that despite plans to purchase a house in Fayetteville, Georgia, Joe had failed to finalize the necessary mortgage paperwork. Authorities theorized that Joe’s dire financial situation prompted him to take extreme measures to prevent Tina from uncovering his fraudulent activities. This led them to believe that Joe murdered Tina to silence her and conceal his deceitful actions.

The police interviewed Tina’s neighbor regarding the events of October 25. He mentioned observing the Chevrolet Avalanche leaving the residence but did not see who was driving it. Later, he noticed a Chevelle being driven back to the house with Joe behind the wheel. Typically, the couple stored the Chevelle a few miles away from where Tina’s body was discovered. Based on this information, authorities speculated that Joe likely killed Tina at their home, drove her car, abandoned it, and then walked to the storage unit to retrieve the Chevelle before returning home. A warrant was issued for his arrest in March 2009, but Joe had absconded. After a 117-day search, the police located him staying at a hotel in Jackson, Tennessee. He was arrested from the hotel and charged with first-degree murder.

Joe Caronna is Serving a Life Sentence Today

The trial for Tina Caronna’s murder began in October 2012, and Joe Caronna was found guilty of first-degree murder. He was handed down a life sentence. In February 2013, more than 50 fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering charges were filed against him, and he pleaded guilty to all of them. An additional sentence of seven years was added to his life sentence. He is currently held at a Special Needs Facility under the Tennessee Department of Justice, and his projected sentence completion date is 2062. Now 60 years old, it is highly likely that he will spend the rest of his life incarcerated.

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