Phil January Interview with PI (Part 7 of many)


Nikki LaDue January

Onto Part 7 of the interview Phil January gave to a Private Investigator back in April 2003. His wife Nikki had been dead for 10 months, ruled a suicide by the Pass Christian, Mississippi police and Harrison County coroner.  For more details, refer to this posting  that chronicles everything from Nikki’s early life to her death. Nikki’s mom hired a private investigator to look into Nikki’s case. As part of that investigation, he interviewed Phil. Today, the day Nikki died.

PI: OK. You meet Matt, 2:35 AM. You were going to drive down in his vehicle? How was that going to how was that going to work out?

Phil: Yeah, we were bringing his vehicle, so that he could follow me in his vehicle. Because if I drove a vehicle down there myself then I would have had to get it back up there.  And I would have needed help unloading getting back up to Shreveport, because Nikki and Nancy and Zack were going to Florida, so I wouldn’t have any help to unload up up in Shreveport. So I had asked Matt if he would go. And he had Mondays and Tuesdays off at that time where he was working. And he said “sure” so that was the game plan that when he got out at 11, he would come over. Well, he told me when he got there he was a little delayed because he had forgotten something and had to go back by his apartment which was the delay about 30 minutes. But my son doesn’t ever drive over the speed limit.

PI:  So you you leave, now you’re, so you’re leaving, in –

Phil: In Matt’s pickup truck.

PI: In Matt’s pickup truck. Now do you have a vehicle up there yourself?

Phil: Yes.

PI:  Was that the Mazda?

Phil: Nnno. This was a vehicle – I want to say it was a Toyota. There’s a bald vehicle from my parents it’s an older model Toyota.

PI: Oh Oh OK. So so you left that –

Phil: Yeah that was parked up there.

PI: OK it was parked up there. So so you and Matt get in his pickup and then you proceed back down.

Phil: We stop for gas about 30 minutes into the trip then we stop for gas I want to say, um, up around Camp Shelby.  Maybe maybe, maybe it was maybe it was right after we turned down out of Jackson. I don’t know.

PI: Is that the quickest way to go?

Phil: Ah it’s the way we go. It’s the way – it’s the easier way for me to go. I don’t like 49. I’d rather just go off – I go up 49 Mississippi and then straight over. Go up to Jackson and hit 20 straight over. To me it’s a better drive. It’s, they’re about the same distance. Cause it’s been timed both ways.  So it takes about the same amount of time, so to me it’s just a better drive, cause once you get to Jackson the last three hours are all interstate, and they’re just-That’s the way I like to go better.

PI: So to your stop so you’re uh uh only stop, you’re stopped over by Camp Shelby.

Phil January

Phil: I I can’t remember if it’s Camp Shelby or it was right outside of Jackson in Floren – Florence, or whatever that little town outside of Jack-, it may have been that, I’m not sure. It was somewhere after Jackson, anyway. And then we get down here about quarter till 9, 9 o’clock.  Go into and and and Nikki, I had called for a truck and then Nikki had verified it. Um, from from the U-Haul place. Was it U-Haul that we used?

PI: The one over in Gulfport?

Phil: Yeah. The one on Pass Road.

PI: Yeah, there’s there’s a, there’s a U-Haul on Pass Road.

Phil: Yeah that’s the one we used. We used U-Haul.  We had used it when we moved from the house that we were in, into the Condo. That’s the place where we got it. So we get there and there’s like two people in front of us, and there’s one guy working there and he ain’t got a clue what he’s doing. In fact, if I hadn’ta had to have the truck right then, I’da , I’da left. But I knew it was already reserved, and then, so it took us forever to get out of there. I had also gone through and picked up some some wardrobe boxes and some more packing boxes because Nikki told me that she didn’t have enough boxes to put all her clothes in. Which if you had ever seen her clothes you’d know why.  So it was approximately 9:45 when we, as we were driving up towards the condo, um, I go to the second entrance because when we – when I get ready to leave in the truck I wanna be able to go out the first entrance and make a u-turn. If I go out the sec- if I have it the other way around, then I gotta try to back up in that area. So that ain’t good. And if I go out the second entrance then I gotta go on down and make a u-turn on further down 90, so I turned into the second entrance and come around and parked alongside the fence over there by where the dumpster-. Actually I think I was on, I would have been on the North side of the dumpster. Matt pulled up and talks – parks behind -And as I pull, that as I come down Highway 90 I look over and I see Nancy’s vehicle there. Parked alongside the fence. So I’m assuming that they were up there packing. And, um, so anyway I park. Before we had ever gotten to the U-Haul place, Matt was talking about his eyes really hurting.  They were burning. And I said “Do you want to stop and get something, or do you want to wait until we get to the condo,” because Nikki always had eye drops.  She always had eyedrops. She wore contacts, she always kept eye drops with her. And I said “cause I know Nikki will have some”. He said “No, that’s fine. I’ll just get some.” so “when – when we get to the condo.”  So when I pull up, I jump out of the truck, and I pull the key out for some reason, and I jump down off the truck, and I take about two steps, and I go back to the door, um, open the door and throw the keys on the seat, and then I turn back around to Matt. And I said “Well let’s go get those eye drops.” About that time, that’s when Nancy is standing on the balcony, and she says, “Phil where’s Nikki?” I said –

PI: NOW she say this. Uh-is she – is she hysterical, but – and this is important. Is is she is she is it like “Hey, Phil. Where’s Nikki?” or is she like “Phil where’s Nikki?”

Phil: Well no actually it was – No it was actually it- “Phil’s what-” she uh she’s like “Phil, what’s going on? Where’s Nikki?” Um, semi-hysterical.  It wasn’t calm. And I said “She’s got to be up there.” Cause I could see the car port. Her car was there. I said “Well she’s got to be up there.” And she says “Well I’ve looked all through. I can’t find her.” I said “Well she’s got to be there.” Um so, she started down as Matt and I – I walked on back and got Matt, and we kind of walked in between and went over to the elevators.

PI: Did Nancy have Zack at that point?

Phil: No.

PI: OK. Zack was still inside.

Phil: Zack was inside.

PI: OK.

Phil: So anyway I get up she says “Well I’ve go-” as we meet her off the elevator she says “Well I’ve gone through everyth- every place. I can’t find her.” I said “Well she’s got to be in there. Her car’s here.” You know, the I said “There’s no other place.” So I go in, and and I don’t remember who’s right behind me if it’s Matt or Nancy. But I, but, and you probably don’t know the layout of the condo but as you come in, there’s a laundry room to the right, go down a wall there’s a kitchen, and it’s a big open area with a dining room and a living room all the way to the back. And then as you come in that first hallway, where the laundry room is, Zack’s room was right off left to there. So I turned in to Zack’s room, well he’s over there sitting in front of the TV, playing Nintendo. And I said “Hey Poot-” – I call him ‘Pooter’. “Hey Pooter, what are you doing?” And th- I, I got a weird reaction cause he didn’t jump up and come running to see me. You know, cause he hadn’t seen me in nine days. Cause he and Nikki left on on the 20th that wel- 8 day- well actually this was the morning of the 29th–now, so. You know, but he was over there playing his games. And sometimes he would get tunnel vision when it comes to games, sure. So I turned into his – there was a bathroom right there that had an entrance, from Zack’s room, or one out into a little hallway across from the kitchen. So I turned into the bathroom. And I come back in there both doors were shut. Which never happens. Um, I don’t know that I’ve ever see tho- both doors shut. Um, if Zack was going to the bathroom in there he would shut the door. Cause he was real- he was real anal about that. But he would have opened, he wouldn’t have shut it after he left. So he would have had one door open. But both doors were were closed. I remember thinking that was odd. And then as I came through everything was gone. All the stuff that on the counter of Zack’s, the the the the shower curtains, the rugs, the towels that were in the –

PI: Everything was packed and ready to go?

Phil: Everything, well – I don’t know where IT was packed, because that was part of the stuff we never found.

PI: Oh, so you never found the towels, and shower curtain –

Phil: Well I got towels but I never found shower curtains, shower rugs, um, two different shower curtains and shower rugs. Um, part of our bedding’s never been found.

PI: Do you think that with the with the uh bathroom accessories that she tossed it?

Phil: She wouldn’t have – no, she wouldn’t have tossed. No. Not not Zack. No, not Zack’s or the one in our – the one in our bathroom was used as decorate as a decorating tool. Because we had a separate shower but she put it over the the tub the jacuzzi tub as a as a decoration. No, those were very special to her. I mean she had picked those out and and no, there was no reason to have just just tossed them out.

PI: But you noticed they were missing.

Phil: Well I didn’t notice them then. I mean I just saying that when I walked through the bathrooms it was cleaned –

PI: It was cleaned out.

Phil: Yeah. So then as I I turned down the the kitchen is pretty much bare, there’s like a tea kettle or something that she always kept on the on the uh on the stove, and then there’s a bag of trash and then there’s a few things on the counter. And then as I I turned towards the back of the condo, the boxes are lined up along the side of the wall, all packed up. Um, there’s nothing other than the furniture itself -um there. There’s no accessories. She had candles all over the place, pictures, uh, little nick nack things up on these glass shelves right right above the bar. All that stuff had been packed up. All the s- kitchen stuff was packed up, everything in the kitchen was was gone. The refrigerator hadn’t been done done I mean you know it’s still it’s still there so I mean you still had the refrigerator. I mean that’s the last thing you do. So I go on down and I turn into our bedroom, and as I turn into our bedroom, um, I looked and wh- earlier, um, in the conversation, Nancy says she asked Zack where’s – she says Zack answers the door when she knocks. And she said “Where’s your Mommy” and he says “She’s in bed sleeping.” But anyway so this leads up to this part of of when I walk into our bedroom, there’s – everything’s packed up there’s dresser and things like that, but all the little stuff is packed up. All the tapes and VCRs and DVDs are all packed up um so that the TV and the VCR a-and and the TV stand are there and the dressers and the lamps and this and that but there’s there’s nothing on the bed as far as bedding. All that stuff’s been packed up. Um she had a chest that she kept there and and had little nick nacks and pictures of us on it that that were all packed up. The bed was was covered in in folded clothes. Hers. Like I said she had a ton of clothes. There were boxes stacked up beside the door. So I walk on in through there and walk in to to our bathroom. And it’s the same ways as Zack. And there’s there’s absolutely nothing in there. Um, so I turn back around, uh I didn’t open the closets at that time. I guess maybe they were open I don’t know. My I know mine – I don’t think mine was. They had closets on both sides of the hallway. And I don’t remember hers being open either. But anyway, as I’m walking back out of the bedroom, I noticed that the patio door is is ajar.

Up Next. Phil finds Nikki

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Posted on January 11, 2012, in Cold Cases, Crime, Mississippi, Murder, Nikki LaDue January and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. What stands out most to me in this part of the interview is that Nancy did not go outside to the balcony. Anyone who knew Nikki would have gone to the balcony after checking the bedroom. Nikki was a smoker and smoked primarily outside on the balcony, and keep in mind she was not a one or two smokes a day kind of girl. She was a one to two PACKS a day kind of girl. The balcony would be the FIRST place to look. Even someone who did not know Nikki at all, by process of elimination, would look on the balcony. This part of the story is insane. If Nancy truthfully did not look on the balcony, I am led to believe she already knew what she would find.

    This part of the interview drives another theory in my head that has nothing to do with Phil. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that Phil was abusive to Nikki, intentional or not. As seen from the survey the majority pin it on Phil because of the history according to Nikki along with eye witness accounts of his abuse and the effects of his abuse on Nikki, mine included. We read the words of Cathy P and can see she was distraught over what she perceived to be the end of her relationship as she knew it with Nancy. Think how CP must have felt to know Nikki was staying with Nancy for several days and the next day traveling to Florida with Nikki to her parent’s home. If CP was aware of Nikki’s plan to stay in Florida, this could be more motive with Nancy’s son going to college and nothing seemingly important to keep Nancy from following Nikki. Her marriage obviously wasn’t a driving force in her life and there would be nothing to keep her from following Nikki, her “best friend”.

    Phil claims to have spoken with Nancy while she was at work to see if Nancy knew where Nikki was. I have always doubted a “best friend” would refrain from going to her best friend’s house to look for her given she (Nikki) was MIA. Was Cathy working that night as well and was she aware of Nikki’s MIA status? I find it hard to believe Nancy did not go to the condo that night to check on her “best friend”. Is it possible Cathy went too and the tragedy occurred with Nancy and CP there? I do not personally know CP, however knew of her and worked with her briefly. She is a kind gentle soft spoken woman and I cannot imagine her ever hurting anyone, but when I read her words and feel her sadness and perception of loosing Nancy to her friendship with Nikki, I cannot help but wonder. It is possible she crossed over and Nancy, out of guilt, is doing all she can to help cover this crime?

    If what Phil is saying is true, which we really don’t know, and Nancy seriously claimed she could not find Nikki, I believe Nancy is covering up for someone. Nancy claims to have NOT gone to the condo that night despite her best friend no where to be found, yet the next morning showed up shortly after Phil was expected to show up. Did Nancy get there a bit too soon and successfully avoid being the one to discover Nikki’s body by claiming she could not find her? Very strange she did not call that morning before she left or on her way and even more strange she did not immediately look on the balcony and seemed to have no plans of looking on the balcony as if she completely scaled the condo with no sign of Nikki. This stands out to me more than a dirty whore in church.

    My gut still points to Phil, and my point in this post is to state the theory that Nancy did not go out on the balcony that morning because she already knew what was out there. She did not want to be the one to discover Nikki’s lifeless body. The question is “how did she know?”

  2. Exactly! She had to have known that she should NOT go onto the balcony, because EVERYONE that spent more than an hour with Nikki witnessed her smoke a cigarette, period. She was a dedicated smoker. The FIRST place I would have looked was the balcony if I had entered her condo and didn’t see her during my walk thru to the back of the condo where the balcony is located. ESPECIALLY if the door was partly opened I would have barged right out there expecting to see her sitting their smoking, probably on the phone or something, unaware that someone had knocked at the door. For anyone that knew her at all, it would be painfully obvious to look on the balcony immediately, she spent alot of time there.

    • Let's do something!

      Erika – you can also confirm Nikki never smoked anything but Marlboro Medium 100’s in a box. Nothing else – not one little deviation, ever – no soft pack, no regular length, no lites, no “cowboy killers” (regulars) as she called them. She would go to the store and get them if she ran out, but seldom ran out. She had a stash – ready for a hurricane on any given day.

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