Young Widow and Mother of 4 Brutally Beaten to Death

MARIETTA, Ga. — A 41-year-old man from Georgia has been arrested in Florida after allegedly beating his girlfriend, a 44-year-old widow and mother of four, to death in her home last week. Charles Franklin Cook was taken into custody on Thursday and charged with murder and aggravated assault in the slaying of Melinda Jolly, authorities announced.

Jolly was found dead inside her home in Marietta after a family member conducted a welfare check, according to a news release from the Cobb County police department.

Jolly’s sister provided further insights into her death in a GoFundMe page created to raise funds for her funeral. The page revealed that Jolly and her four children had moved from California to Georgia a few years ago to be closer to her family following the death of her husband. The family recently discovered that Jolly was in an abusive relationship and had been requesting police welfare checks. Sadly, the last time the police checked on Jolly was on January 15, and two days later, she was found dead by a family member.

The Cobb County Police deemed Jolly’s death suspicious as they had previously responded to domestic violence incidents at her residence. According to reports witnesses saw Cook leaving Jolly’s home around the claimed time of her death after the welfare check.

Authorities determined that Jolly died from severe blunt force injuries to her head and neck. Deputies located Cook in his vehicle and promptly apprehended him in the parking lot of a Publix grocery store in Crestview Florida.

Jolly’s family described Cook as an “abusive monster” on the GoFundMe page, highlighting her kind and compassionate nature and the love she had for her family.

Cook is currently being held without bond at the Okaloosa County Jail as extradition proceedings back to Georgia are underway.

This tragic incident highlights the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the urgent need for intervention and support services for victims. The case underscores the importance of recognizing the signs of abuse and taking appropriate action to protect those in vulnerable situations.