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Kristofak Arrested in Union City

The East Cobb murder suspect was apprehended early Thursday morning at a Motel 6.

John Kristofak, wanted for the murder of his ex-wife at her East Cobb home, was arrested early Thursday morning.

The Cobb County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Unit and the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Task Force took him into custody, according to the Cobb Police Department, which issued a statement at 8:30 this morning. 

Kristofak, 58, is being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center, charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Various media reports indicated earlier Thursday morning that Kristofak was arrested after "a brief struggle" with law enforcement at a Union City Motel 6, and that a gun was found in his room.

Arrest records with the Cobb Sheriff's Office indicate Kristofak was arrested around 6 a.m., and that the booking process began shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday.

Donna Kristofak, 48, was found unresponsive when police arrived at her home on Tall Pine Drive near Walton High School around noon Saturday. She later died at WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

Cobb Police haven't officially explained the cause of death, but a murder warrant obtained by East Cobb Patch said she was stabbed once in the upper torso during a confrontation in the garage.

Kristofak pleaded guilty to aggravated stalking and family battery in October after being arrested in March for making several threats against Donna Kristofak, including pulling in front of her in the parking lot of an undisclosed Wal-Mart location.

He was sentenced to time served of seven months, plus four years and five months on probation, by Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs, who also issued a permanent restraining order.

Kristofak was ordered not to go within 500 yards of his ex-wife, who filed for divorce in August 2011 after nearly 20 years of marriage. A month later, she requested and was granted an initial restraining order against him.

The MDJ reported Monday that a neighbor thought Kristofak may have wanted to get revenge for his jail time.

For more than four days after the murder, Kristofak eluded authorities, who alerted the public that he was driving a brown Chevrolet Equinox.

While he was at-large, the suspect apparently communicated with news organizations, including The Marietta Daily Journal and East Cobb Patch, promising to commit suicide and referring to himself in the third person while using pseudonymous electronic identifications.

He allegedly told the MDJ in a Wednesday article that he was sure to "burn in hell" for what he had done. In a Thursday morning article, the newspaper reported that it received another e-mail believed to be from Kristofak shortly before 5 a.m., not long before he was taken to custody. The writer said that last article "should land you a job with the National Enquirer. It appears (you’re) lacking any investigative skills. I bet it took you all of 15 minutes and you didn’t get out of your chair. But it will appeal to the masses.”

Also on Wednesday, a registered East Cobb Patch user twice commented on an updated story on the slaying, including an assertion that Donna Kristofak was shot instead of stabbed.

East Cobb Patch believes those comments to have come from Kristofak, as well as four announcements that were posted on the site since Dec. 24 under what are thought to be two different pseudonyms. Those transmissions, which were not as sharply worded as what the MDJ received, have been removed.

But the suspect allegedly issued harrowing e-mails to Donna Kristofak in March, shortly before he was arrested for stalking. The AJC reported Monday that a warrant issued at the time disclosed the contents of e-mails sent from him to her between March 9 and 19, threatening her with harm and even death.

"No one call help you at this point," went one of the messages. And another: "Have you ever been hit by a car going 140 not knowing where it’s coming from?”

An AJC report on Monday said Kristofak unsuccessfully launched mortgage and cell phone businesses in the East Cobb area and that the couple filed for bankruptcy in 2007.

They had three sons: Michael, an adult; Harrison, a senior at Dominion Christian School in Marietta; and Zac, a freshman at Walton.

jami you December 28, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Donna was a wonderful woman that changed everyone she met for the better. I was truly blessed to call her a good friend! Her whole world was her boys! She's an example a what it means to be a parent. Our prayers are with you. Harrison and Zac. Her whole body lite up when she talked about you.

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