Investigation Notes: Nikki LaDue January

Victim-  Nikki LaDue January

On July 29, 2002. 30 year old Nikki LaDue January was found dead on the balcony of her third floor condo. She had suffered what appeared to be a contact gunshot to the right side of her head.

The 911 Call:


The positioning of the body, post mortem lividity, testimony of the husband seems to lead the Detective Tom Pustay to make the quick determination that Nikki had committed suicide, as shown in his narrative:

PoliceSummary Narrative

Apparently very few photos were taken, approximately 20.  What also stands out about this is that the photos were polorids, very archaic for 2002 as much more higher quality means of photo documentation was available back then.  A couple of these photos stand out, raising some interesting questions.

1. Why are there two different brand cigarettes and two different lighters on the table in front of her?

2. Why is there a bloody phone neatly placed on that table?

3. Why are her hands neatly folded in front of her?

4. Isn’t the gun in a somewhat precarious position, somewhat wedged between her legs?

Other Questions Remain to be followed up:

1. The wall next where the exit wound is reported, shows no obvious spatter that would be consistent with a claim of a shot fired from that position.

2. Why was there autopsy done?

3. Was GSR ever actually done on the hands?

4. Were samples of the differing cigarette butts collected for DNA testing?

5. The left side is the exit side, yet the bright clothing are seemingly absent of any trace of blood?  Would there not be some blood present as a result of a bullet exiting the head at such a high rate of velocity?

6. Why is there so much blood on her left hand (non-gun side) yet seemingly no blood in the rest of that side of the body/clothing, to explain how that much blood collected there?

7. Why is her right leg positioned in such a precarious position, doesn’t the table seem more pushed against her leg?

8. Lividiy, as I understand it can take about 10 hours to set in. Which begs the question, isn’t it still possible that that she died elsewhere in the house and  her body could have been moved and/or positioned post-mortem?

9. Were alternate light sources or other methods used to check the rest of the home for indications of blood or recently cleaned blood?



24 Responses to Investigation Notes: Nikki LaDue January

  1. I want to make certain that I understand correctly regarding item #2: No autopsy was performed, correct?

    Also, no exit wound and no blood spatter makes no sense but even more curious is the location of the weapon as you stated. Isn’t that the gun that she is sitting on? How on earth did she manage that if she committed suicide?

    On another note, women typically do not commit suicide with a gun so that, in itself, is questionable.

    • In answer to your question Amy, No. There was no official Autopsy done. However 3 months later, at the request of family, Nikki’s body was exhumed and a autopsy was performed by a private consultant. Those results offered nothing very conclusive.

  2. spandan says:

    just a small doubt…as mentioned in this post… what i understand is depending upon the husbands testimony it was believed that she committed suicide… can it not be possible that husband was trying to mislead the investigators?? That jsut my view pardon me if I am wrong.

    • Spandan, you ask a very good question and one that is in the process of being investigated. As with all such cases, it is reasonable to put some measure scrutiny into the spouse and any involvement they may have had or antecedents they may have in one way or another contributed to.

  3. ZaSu Says says:

    The Death of Nikki LaDue January: Interviewing Children
    Posted by Slamdunk on Monday, October 17, 2011

  4. ZaSu Says says:

    The Death of Nikki LaDue January: Part X

    Additional Oddities
    In the previous nine posts on the death of Nikki LaDue January, I have discussed multiple facets of the investigation–including Nikki’s behavior the night before her life ended, the crime scene, the 911 call, police response, etc.

    Here are three additional aspects of the case.
    1) The Bullet
    2) Nikki’s Car
    3) The Condo

  5. Em says:

    1. What do we know about her personal relationships?
    2. Did she have any scheduled appointments that may suggest she was making plans for the future?
    3. Whose gun was determined to be the weapon used?
    4. Who was the last person to have spoken with her?

  6. The Death of Nikki LaDue January: Part XI As the series continues, I transition from discussing the case’s evidence to examining the related statements.… Click Link

  7. Cold Case No More | Getting to the bottom of Cold Cases
    Writer, journalist, TV producer blogger Zerogossip wants to talk about Nikki’s case: Was Nikki LaDue January Murdered? Mississippi Police Don’t Seem to Care

  8. All American Girl Lived Life to its Fullest–Nikki LaDue January
    Post Link
    Please read, share and comment.

    The Death of Nikki LaDue January: Part XIII
    Posted by Slamdunk on Monday, November 14, 2011
    Post Link

    Please read, share and comment.

  9. TruthSeeker says:

    From Blog Cold Case No More

    Clipped for length:

    Near the end of 1999, Nikki LaDue found her knight in shining armor. Working on the floor of the Grand Casino in Gulfport, Mississippi, she would occasionally have to deal with an unruly gambler. When that happened, she’d call security. That’s how she met security manager Phil January. But at the same time, she also fighting demons no one could fight. Nikki was addicted to pain pills. She hid this well from her friends and family. Drugs were easy to come by at the Grand. In fact more than once, there were internal investigations that tried to break up an Oxy-ring. People lost their jobs but the drugs continued to flow.

    Nikki LaDue Tries Anew–Marries Phil January


    Reader Comment promoted to post: Nikki’s Death Staged?

  10. Cold Case No More: Through the Eyes of a Friend, Meet Nikki LaDue

  11. Nov 18 by Holliston Cold Case No More:

    I’ve spoken to one of the first responders to the scene who had some very interesting things to say about the investigation, or rather, lack of investigation. I’ve spoken to Angelia Hursell who babysat Nick on July 28 and was one of the last people to see Nikki alive. She too was shocked when the policeman she spoke to on the scene didn’t seem interested in talking to her. And what she did say, was misheard and misinterpreted and played a role in the quick assumption of suicide. Finally, tomorrow, Saturday, I will speak to Phil January, Nikki’s husband when she died. A lot has been said and written about him and this will be his opportunity to give his side.

    So bear with me…more to come hopefully by Saturday night.

  12. Gail Rain says:

    Please take time to read, share and comment. Nom Holliston is actually interviewing many of the participants in Nikki’s Case and life.

    There are also REAL interesting posts by a guy who calls himself “logical minded engineer”. It’s a real good read and very informative.

  13. Why Would Nikki’s Best Friend Leave Her When She’s Need Most?

    Nancy Burge, Nikki LaDue January’s best friend, wanted nothing to do with anything to do with her death. This was a woman who Nikki stayed with overnight in the days leading up to her death. This was a woman who Nikki shared everything with. This was a woman who was about to make a trip to Florida with Nikki and Zack to meet Nikki’s parents. According to many, she distanced herself from what happened on July 29, 2002 and didn’t even go to Nikki’s funeral. According to Angelia Hursell, one of the last people to see Nikki alive, Nancy divorced her husband after Nikki’s death and now has exclusively female relationships. Angelia said Nancy also changed her appearance to look more like Nikki.

    clipped for length:

  14. Phil January on his Relationship with Nikki and What He’s Done Since her Death
    Nov 28 Posted by holliston2012

    We return now to my interview with Phil January, Nikki LaDue January’s husband. Throughout this blog you may have read some allegations and accusations against Phil. Some questioned his relationship with Nikki while other’s believe he knows more than he’s saying about her death. In his own words, the remaining part of our interview.

    “I don’t want to get into a war of words,” Phil said. “I know the facts. I know Nikki’s and my relationship and I know the truth. A lot of things coming out came out really late when people weren’t getting answers and I understand that. I’ve got nothing to hide. I searched for answers myself. And when you get shut down, you get shut down.

    Clipped for length…please read, share and comment:

  15. The Death of Nikki LaDue January: Part XIV

    Please go to above link and read, share and comment.[

  16. Phil January Interview with PI (Part 4 of many)
    by holliston2012

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