Friends: Estranged husband murdered Heather Palumbo-Jones after weight loss

(WMC-TV) - Friends of Heather Palumbo-Jones said it was a weight battle in more ways than one for a Germantown couple whose marriage ended in murder.

According to friends, Chris Jones was obsessed. He was addicted and dependent on his estranged wife, and could not let go.

"She told me he told her to gain the weight back. I said, 'You've got to be kidding me.' He was a control freak," said friend Cari Cooper.

Friends described Palumbo-Jones' husband as a man spiraling out of control as the marriage collapsed.

They said Palumbo-Jones, a teacher at Frayser Achievement School, met Chris Jones when she was 19 years old. She was 160 pounds overweight.

Friends said after working out and losing the weight, Chris felt threatened.

"He was losing his grip on her. She was like a butterfly who came out of a cocoon," said Copper.

They said his bizarre and apparently dangerous behavior caused Palumbo-Jones to move out of the townhouse the couple shared. She moved with the couple's two young children down the street.

They said Jones was dependent on his wife, who paid his rent.

"I said, 'You know he's going to go off the deep end', and then she would share with me some of the things he would [do]. I said, 'He's going to end up killing you or himself.' It's going to escalate," said Cooper.

Friends said he stalked Palumbo-Jones, once even breaking into the Germantown house she rented.

She disappeared in April days before the couple had a court date for the impending divorce.

"I loved that woman more than anything. There's no way I've put my hands on her or ever put my hands on her," Jones told reporters before Heather's body was recovered.

Days after that interview, Chris Jones confessed to his wife's murder.

He is at 201 Poplar charged with second degree murder.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.