ATLANTA — Law officers quietly moved guests to safety at a Union City motel Thursday morning before bursting in and surprising a fugitive wanted in the slaying of his ex-wife in the Atlanta suburbs, federal agents said.
John Stephen Kristofak, 58, was apprehended early Thursday after a brief struggle, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. He is wanted on charges of aggravated assault and murder in the death of his 48-year-old ex-wife, Donna Nations Kristofak, authorities said.
In the pre-dawn hours Thursday, federal agents and officers from Cobb County and Union City had the motel under surveillance after a tip that Kristofak was inside. Once guests were safely moved away from the area, police showed up at Kristofak’s door, said Gavin Duffy, a supervisory inspector with the U.S. Marshals Service.
“He had no idea we were sitting outside until we actually arrested him,” Duffy said.
There was a brief struggle before Kristofak was taken into custody in his motel room, Duffy said, but no major injuries.
Donna Nations Kristofak was found unresponsive in her Marietta home on Saturday and later died at WellStar Kennestone Hospital.
Kristofak had been charged with stalking his ex-wife earlier this year. He had called her at work a dozen times and sent her threatening emails, authorities said.
The U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement that their agents joined the search for Kristofak after he was identified as “the primary suspect” in his ex-wife’s killing. It wasn’t known early Thursday whether Kristofak has an attorney or when his initial court appearance would be.
The arrest was made by the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, led by the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Cobb County sheriff’s fugitive unit.
Kristofak was being held without bond Thursday morning at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on the murder and aggravated assault charges, Cobb County authorities said.