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Ex-Navy officer charged with murder of wife who was found dismembered in Georgia woods

Nicholas James Kassotis was arrested Friday in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a day after remains found in Georgia were identified as those of his wife, Mindi Mebane Kassotis, officials said.

A former naval officer has been arrested in Pennsylvania and charged with the grisly killing of his writer wife, whose dismembered remains were found scattered in the Georgia woods.

Nicholas James Kassotis, 40, was arrested Friday on felony murder, assault and other charges in the death of Mindi Kassotis, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release.

He was arrested one day after she was officially identified using DNA technology, officials said. Her remains were found in December throughout a 3-mile radius in the woods of a hunting club in Riceboro, about 40 miles southwest of Savannah.

The GBI had help from the FBI, who conducted genealogy testing. Swabs were obtained from relatives of Mindi Kassotis to identify her, officials said.

Kassotis, who also goes by Nicholas Killian James Stark, was arrested in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he is awaiting extradition to Georgia.

He is further charged with malice murder, tampering with evidence and removal of body parts from the scene of death or dismemberment, the GBI said in a news release.

The GBI previously said testing determined that the remains were placed in the area on or around Nov. 27.

For months, Mindi Kassotis' identity was a mystery, and police released a composite sketch in hope of identifying her, which took about six months.

Officials haven’t disclosed a possible motive. No documents have been filed yet in Georgia courts.

Mindi Kassotis was 40 and living in Savannah with her husband at the time of her death, the GBI said. They were married in Virginia in 2016, according to the couple’s wedding announcement in The Keene Sentinel of New Hampshire. 

The wedding announcement described her as a writer and business owner and him as a former judge advocate in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Kassotis was commissioned in June 2006 and separated from the Navy in August 2019. He most recently worked in the Navy Reserve at the Region Legal Service Office in the Naval District of Washington, D.C., from 2017 to 2019, the Navy said.

Kassotis is scheduled to appear in Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas for a waiver of extradition hearing Friday. It’s not immediately clear whether he has a lawyer.