I try to base my crime writings on news accounts and official documents, but since this case is dated, I am relying on one of the police reports and the family's website for this post.
Nichole LaDue January (Photo Credit)
On Monday morning, July 29, 2002, officers from the Pass Christian Police Department near Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi, investigated a possible suicide on the third floor of the Gulf Palm Condominiums.
According to a police report, an investigator arrived and observed the body of a white female approximately 30 years old on the balcony of the condo.
She was seated in a chair facing the southwest with her head slumped back and to the right.
The investigator stated that there was a single gun shot wound to the right temple area of her head with an exit wound on the left side of her head.
Her eyes were blackened and she was dressed in shorts, a white tank top, and a sweater buttoned around her neck.
A Sterling .380 caliber pistol was partially under her left thigh on the chair.
Her right leg was propped up against the table in front of her.
A cordless phone on the table was covered in blood.
There were two different brands of cigarettes (Marlboro mediums and Marlboro regular) and two different lighters on the table in front of her.
A bullet was located in a chair on the next balcony to the north, and was believed to have passed through the victim's head, struck a screen door and then bounced to where it was found.
A condo employee found a shell casing in the pool--which is situated below the balcony and twenty-feet to the west.
The investigator also indicated that he believed that the victim had been dead for several hours.
The victim, Nikki LaDue January, was to be moving that day--separating from Phil, her husband of two years.*
A friend of January's arrived at 9:30 am and was let into the apartment by the deceased's five-year old son who told her that mom was sleeping.
The friend was unable to locate the Nikki (stated she did not look on the balcony), but the victim's husband, Phil, arrived a short time later and found the body.
Authorities concluded on-scene that the death was a suicide.
As a result, most of the possible evidence was not processed, no autopsy was conducted, no blood was collected, and so on.
But did Nikki LaDue January take her own life?
I'll continue the discussion of this suspicious death next time, and all posts on this topic can be viewed by clicking here: Nikki LaDue January.
*Note: I had incorrectly stated that Ms. LaDue January was leaving for Louisiana the day of her death--it was modified to just say that she was moving.