Photo Source: Facebook Group
In July of 2002, the body of Nikki LaDue January was found seated on the balcony of her condominium in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Officers stated that she had a single gun shot wound to her right temple area.
A Sterling .380 caliber pistol was partially under her left thigh on a chair, her right leg was propped up against the table in front of her, and a cordless phone on the table was covered in blood.
There were two different brands of cigarettes and two different lighters on the table in front of her.
A bullet was located in a chair on the next balcony, and a shell casing was later found by a maintenance man in the condo's pool.
Ms. January had apparently been deceased for several hours, and her five-year old son was found in the residence unharmed.
Authorities at the scene quickly classified the death as a suicide--so most of the items present were not processed, no autopsy was conducted, no blood was collected, and so on.
Additional Case Details*
- Less than a month before Ms. LaDue January's death, her husband Phil had secured a new job in Louisiana and was already there, while Nikki was organizing the move from Mississippi.
- The night prior to her death, she went out with a friend named Eric Hunsicker and they went to a club and a bar. Her son was with a sitter (the sitter later told police that Nikki seemed fine when they spoke). Reportedly, Nikki became visible upset after making a phone call at around 8 pm and left to retrieve her son. Eric stated that he talked to Nikki by phone at about 12:30 am and she asked him to tell no one about their time together.
- On the morning of the woman's death, Phil was to arrive with a U-Haul to load their possessions. Nikki's friend Nancy Burge was also going to help that morning, and then Nikki, her young son Zack, and Nancy were going to Florida for a week to visit the Nikki's family.
- Allegedly, Nikki told others that she did not plan to go to Louisiana to join her husband, but was going to stay in Florida with her son and start a new life.
- The gun found at the scene belonged to Phil. It is unknown if the recovered gun was used in Nikki's death (not tested). According to the family's site, 18 of the phone calls to Nikki's phone between 11 pm and 2 am on the morning of her death were described by Phil as part of their argument. He allegedly told police that he may have said some hurtful things that could have caused her to search the condo for his handgun.
- A coroner's report lists alcohol, cocaine, and amphetamines in her system, but the levels are unknown.
So, let me summarize:
- Unusual death scene involving a wife and mother
- No suicide note found
- Small child left alone in condo for hours
- Couple that was scheduled to move, and wife may have been having second thoughts
- Married woman who had gone out with another man prior to dying
- Husband and wife allegedly arguing over the phone prior to her death
- Woman's body was found to contain drugs and alcohol, but at unknown levels
- Authorities rule death a suicide onsite--little evidence collection and no autopsy
I'll continue with the case next Monday and start with the lead investigator in the case, Tom Pustay, who is now as far removed from policing as a living individual can be.
All posts on this topic can be viewed by clicking here: Nikki LaDue January.
*Note: This information was sourced from here.