A week ago, William I. Janey walked into the Calvert County Sheriff's Office and told authorities that his wife, Ebony S. Janey, pummeled him during an argument about getting a divorce and left their apartment in a huff. He demanded a restraining order to keep himself and his children safe.

"I don't really know where she went," Janey wrote in the petition for the order, filed just before midnight April 1.

A day later, Ebony Janey's family reported her missing to Maryland State Police, and, authorities allege, it soon became clear that Janey had devised a ruse to cover up a killing. On Saturday, police charged him with second-degree murder, accusing him of strangling his wife the night of April 1 and burying her in woods off Route 4 in southern Calvert. A friend allegedly helped him.

Then, just a few hours after the killing, Janey, 32, went to police, portraying himself as a victim and requesting the restraining order, said state police Lt. Homer Rich.

Yesterday, Maryland District Court Judge Stephen L. Clagett ordered Janey, of Prince Frederick, held without bond. Last week, Clagett had dismissed Janey's petition for a restraining order after finding that there were "no reasonable grounds to believe" Janey had been abused by his wife, according to court records.

Police are still investigating the death of Ebony Janey, 26, who had been married to William Janey, a sewer line repairman, for two years. There appeared to be marital problems, Rich said, and Ebony Janey had moved out of their home, but there were no signs that the relationship had become violent. Relatives called Ebony Janey a hardworking mother of three who worked at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.

Police said William Janey's story was filled with inconsistencies. In his petition for a restraining order, he did not detail any abuse he supposedly suffered. Instead, he wrote that he "kicked" his wife and "threw her on the bed."

Authorities said rumors that Ebony Janey was dead were circulating last week in the apartment building where they lived, prompting two state police investigators, Sgt. Larry Titus and Trooper Robert Payne, to look into the matter.

"Did we think she was murdered right off the bat? No," Rich said. "When we went around shaking the trees in our investigation, we found inconsistencies."

On Thursday, Eugene Jones, a friend of William Janey's, told police that he helped Janey bury the body near Emmanuel Seventh-day Adventist Church in the rural community of Port Republic, according to charging documents. Jones has not been charged in the case.

Authorities dug up the body Friday night.