LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A local woman who authorities say fled to Florida to distance herself from her abusive husband disappeared Sunday while running along the beach.
According to an incident report filed with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Rachael L. Madison, 44, was last seen Sunday at 1:30 p.m. She had been staying at her aunt’s Ormond-by-the-Sea home since Nov. 16.
“We believe her estranged husband found us here and took her,” Rachael’s aunt, Joyce Newsom, said during an interview with WHAS11’s Kayla Moody on Wednesday.
Newsom told deputies she traveled to the Clark County, Ind. area Nov. 14 to help her niece escape her abusive husband, 58-year-old Jarvis Madison. But getting her back to Florida wasn’t easy.
Records show Rachael filed a report with Indiana State Police the same day, claiming her husband held her against her will in his vehicle. She said he was armed with a handgun and threatened to kill her if she tried to get away.
“She was hysterical. I mean she wanted out,” recalled Newsom, who said she was on the phone with her niece during part of the encounter.
Rachael eventually escaped, running into the Clarksville Walmart where she met her aunt and an Indiana State Trooper. ISP later forwarded the charges to Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull, who filed for a felony warrant against Jarvis Madison for criminal confinement.
“[The felony warrant] gives a police officer anywhere in the country authority to detain and arrest this individual if they come into contact with him for this offense that we’ve alleged he’s committed in Indiana,” explained Mull.
After filing the police report with ISP, Newsom, and her niece embarked on more than an 800-mile journey to Volusia County.
It appeared this could be a new start for Rachael. Newsom told WHAS11 her niece had been in good spirits since she had been staying with her and she was working on a resume in hopes of getting a job. She said Rachael ran along the beach daily, often for an hour or two at a time, but she would always return.
“She loves to run, that’s her outlet and she was running on the beach every day,” Newsom said.
Sunday Rachael didn’t return from her run, something her aunt described to deputies as “completely out of the ordinary.”
“[Rachael’s family] immediately became concerned that her husband may have come down and taken her back with him,’ said Andrew Gant, VCSO Public Information Officer. “We don’t know if that happened and all we want to do right now is find her and make sure she’s OK – we hope she is.”
Rachael left her cell phone and all of her belongings behind when she left Southern Indiana. According to the police report, Jarvis had been repeatedly calling Rachael’s relatives in an attempt to get in contact with his wife and had even threatened to kill her aunt for taking her in.
The incident report shows Jarvis’ last phone call to his wife’s aunt was made just 30 minutes before Rachael was last seen. Deputies canvassed the beach and beachside area using a helicopter but could not find the missing woman. Investigators believe Rachael could be with her estranged husband but they are still working to determine if she left with him willingly or if she is endangered or missing under other circumstances.
“She did not want to be there and she was quite content here and just enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with family and there’s just no way she would have gone willingly,” said Newsom.
Investigators are asking anyone who has seen Rachael or Jarvis Madison, call their local law enforcement agency or the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 386-323-0151. They may be traveling in a silver 2011 Honda Pilot bearing the Indiana license plate EN2348.