Columbus, Ga- “When they first put you into the dorm and you hear that door slam behind you…that’s when it hits home…this is your new reality.”
Looking out the window of his Columbus home-Jarod Ingram now sees a future filled with possibilities when just a few years ago, following the murder of his ex-wife Ciara Ingram, his freedom was anything but guaranteed.
“I was just in shock and disbelief when I saw a photo of her apartment with police tape outside on the news,” says Ingram. “I’m not sure what my reaction was other than shock and disbelief.”
Ingram’s wife would not be the only loved one he’d lose. He also lost custody of their two small children, who for the past 6 years have lived out-of-state with Ciara’s mother. Ingram spoke to his kids for the first time last week since losing custody.
“They spent 6 years with people who believe I did this. When you’re grieving, especially over a loss like this kind, I feel like you need someone to blame, and for 6 years, I was that guy,” says Ingram.
Ingram says he was also that guy on job applications that no one wanted to hire despite being declared innocent, which further complicated his effort to rebuild his life.
“Even if that conversation goes well and that stranger walks away feeling like, you know, this guy is an okay guy. I know he was accused of something…they have to then explain that to somebody that has never met you and that’s usually where it stopped.”
But Ingram says there was one woman who believed in his innocence from the start and said yes to loving him for life-his new wife, Katie.
“My parents back us up fully-100%,” says Katie Ingram. “I actually recently heard my dad say he ‘would trust my life and his granddaughter’s life in Jarod’s hands.”
“I’ve had to rebuild everything from scratch, but God’s been good,” says Ingram. “And my wife and I now, we have a good life together. And once we are able to get the children back and complete our family, I think we’re gonna have a great life.”
Jarod Ingram tells News 3 that despite the challenge he’s endured following the murder of his ex-wife, he’s still able to find joy through his faith and he hopes that the person responsible for his ex-wife’s murder is brought to justice.