A popular fitness instructor and member of the Atlanta Jewish community was allegedly murdered by a woman who had been living in her Sandy Springs house, according to family members. Marlene Diane Colon, 73, was found dead in her home on Fawndale Way Monday.
Sandy Springs Police Sgt. Salvador Ortega released a statement saying that 59-year-old Chelci Chisholm was arrested on charges of malice murder, aggravated assault with intent to murder and obstruction. A source told the AJT that there had been a dispute over $500 owed to Colon.
Family members are devastated at the shocking murder of Colon. “I just talked to Marlene three weeks ago,” said Gary Mesnick, one of 17 first cousins in the family, and a Marietta resident. “She was just a month younger than me. We spoke regularly.” Although Colon was known to “take people in,” she didn’t need to do it for the money, Mesnick said. He added that he didn’t even know anyone was currently living with his cousin.
“She didn’t have a mean bone in her body,” Mesnick said. “To have your life just snuffed out” like that was shocking.
Most of the cousins grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, Mesnick said. “Her mother and father always had parties at her house. Her mother was a great cook,” he added.
Colon, known for teaching aqua aerobics and Zumba at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and The William Breman Jewish Home, is survived by two sons Loren and Jonathan and grandchildren Matthew and Julianne. “She was such a good grandmother,” Mesnick said. “She would always bring her grandchildren to our parties. She spent a lot of time with them.”
The alleged killer apparently was originally from the Tel Aviv area in Israel, according to her Israeli driver’s license. Sources say Chisholm contacted an Israeli friend Eyal Kishoni after the murder, but police don’t believe he had anything to do with the murder.
Alex Gandler, deputy consul general of Israel to the Southeastern United States, told the AJT that he had not been contacted about anyone involved with the killing. “I didn’t know about it,” he said.
Rabbis Peter Berg of The Temple and Scott Colbert, rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu-El, are scheduled to officiate at the April 11 funeral. Mesnick said Colon was good friends with Colbert and his wife.
Check back for more information coming soon.
- Chelci Chisholm
- Gary Mesnick
- Sandy Springs
- Zumba Instructor
- Sandy Springs Police
- Sgt. Salvador Ortega
- Marlene Diane Colon
- The William Breman Jewish Home
- Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
- Alex Gandler
- Rabbis Peter Berg
- Rabbi Scott Colbert
- deputy consul general of Israel
- Temple Emanu-El