CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas (KIAH) — A woman is in jail on a $5 million bond for allegedly murdering her husband, Chambers County officials said.
Sarah Jean Hartsfield, 48, of Beach City, Texas, was arrested after being indicted on Friday following the death of her husband, Joseph Hartsfield, in what Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne called “suspicious circumstances” leading to his death.
“This is an active case and only limited details can be released at this time,” Hawthorne said. “I appreciate the hard work of the deputies and detectives who followed their instincts and identified the suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr. Hartfield’s death that could have been labeled as ‘death due to illness’ instead of murder.”
Hawthorne said on Jan. 7, a 911 call from the Baytown Houston Methodist Hospital reported a “suspicious illness” of a patient in the emergency room who was transported by ambulance from Beach City.
Deputies arrived at the hospital and began their investigation, and discovered some inconsistencies from information by the hospital staff. They then contacted Criminal Investigations Detective Skyler Rocz to investigate further.
Det. Rocz’s investigation found “alleged inconsistencies and other factors that made Joseph’s illness more suspicious in nature,” according to the sheriff’s office.
When Joseph Hartsfield died, deputies believed he died of foul play, but did not state the cause of death or what kind of illness Hartsfield had.
But Det. Rocz had enough evidence to find probable cause and met with Chambers County District Attorney Lieck Henry, who later convened a grand jury, which came back with a felony indictment for Sarah Jean Hartsfield
Sarah Jane was later arrested and is currently in jail.