Joe Caronna convinced friends he wasn't involved in wife's murder - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Joe Caronna convinced friends he wasn't involved in wife's murder

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By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - Friends of murdered Cordova woman Tina Caronna are still in shock over the circumstances surrounding her death and the identity of her suspected killer.

Tina Caronna's body, bound and gagged, was discovered inside her vehicle in October of 2008.

An arrest warrant was issued for her husband on March 8, 2009.

After a two-week manhunt that ended last week, police arrested Joe Caronna for his wife's murder.

Cathy and Matt Struna were the couple's closest friends.
    
"I've lost two friends," said Cathy Struna. "It's a tragic experience."

The Strunas described Tina Caronna as an optimistic woman with a great personality who loved people, travel and vounteer work.

She also had a passion for fast cars, and served as president of the Corvette Club. The Strunas were members.

"She did not watch life go by by the sidelines. She lived it," said Joe Struna.

The couple says they weren't aware of any problems in the Caronna's marriage.

"You never got the impression that anything was wrong because she was so upbeat," said Cathy Struna. "She never talked about her personal problems. I wish she had because maybe if she had, she'd still be here."

After Tina Caronna's murder, the Strunas shared dinners with Joe Caronna and accompanied him to church to help him deal with his loss. They say he cried to them and shared a book he was reading about grief.

"Many dinners and many, many, many sessions of grief counseling, and just pouring our hearts out to him to try to get him through this. I don't know if it was all an act or what," said Joe Struna.

Joe and Cathy Struna say they were convinced that Joe Caronna was not involved in his wife's murder.   

But investigators present a different story: one which ended with murder charges against the man the Strunas were consoling.
  
"He asked me if I would take him to the cemetery so he could go and visit Tina," said Joe Struna. "Was it all an act? I don't know. If it was, then he was the best actor on the planet."


Timeline of the Caronna case:
  
October 25, 2008: Tina Caronna goes missing.
    
October 27, 2008: Tina Caronna's body is discovered in her Chevrolet Avalanche.
    
March 8, 2009: Bartlett Police issue a first degree murder warrant for Joe Caronna.
    
March 16, 2009: Friends begin searching for Joe Caronna.  
     
March 25, 2009: US Marshals arrest Joe Caronna at the Howard Johnson motel in Jackson, Tennessee.

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