Man convicted of hiding girlfriend's body now charged with her murder

The body of Adelle Jensen has never been found.
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A man convicted of hiding the dead body of his girlfriend has now been charged with her murder.

Joshua Dow, 35, was initially charged with interfering with a dead body in November 2015, after telling police that 25-year-old Adelle Jensen had shot herself after an argument on Nov. 18.

Dow refused to tell the authorities where he had taken Jensen's body, but police and prosecutors at the time didn't have enough evidence to charge Dow with her murder.

That's changed this week, when the Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced Dow has been charged with 2nd-degree murder, despite the body never being found.

Investigators were able to piece together evidence that led to a murder charge, despite not having the body which would have determined whether or not Jensen had shot herself.

This, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, came from a combination of "re-interviews of witnesses, additional digital forensic investigation and statements Dow has made to others over the past three years," which he says "resulted in a more complete picture of what happened."

The new charges revealed that Jensen's death came days after Dow had allegedly assaulted her, and she'd threatened to buy a plane ticket and leave Minneapolis.

What prosecutors say happened

The attorney's office says Dow and Jensen had a child together, and while they had recently separated, still spent time together.

On the night of Nov. 17, Jensen, Dow and his brother were out in downtown Minneapolis, when Dow's brother tried to convince her to come back to the duplex where they lived in north Minneapolis, but she refused.

Cellphone location data put Jensen's last known location near Hennepin County Medical Center at around 5:15 a.m. That same morning, Dow's brother said he heard a single gunshot in their duplex, and said Dow had told him that he had dropped the gun and it had fired accidentally.

Dow's phone was tracked at around 7:20 a.m. to a warehouse where he had previously worked.

His brother woke up around noon and found Dow and another man – who has since died in a homicide – inside the duplex removing a sofa.

Dow told his brother that Jensen had killed herself and told him to go along with a story that she was missing. He allegedly pointed a gun at his brother's head, saying he would shoot him and their mom if he didn't cooperate.

Jensen's body, Dow's brother said, was wrapped in plastic similar to that used at the warehouse where both he and Dow used to work. Dow placed Jensen's body in a box, which he taped shut, before painting over the blood spattered walls.

The body was moved back to the warehouse, while the couch on which she had died was chopped up and disposed of at "various locations." 

By the time Dow's brother had led police to the warehouse – which came after Jensen had been reported missing by her family – the body had been moved. Police later learned Jensen had been dismembered in a different room, and is believed to have been disposed of in various trash receptacles that had been collected.

Further examination of the sites Dow was known to have frequented immediately after Jensen's death found traces of DNA that is almost certainly hers, and officers also recovered the revolver used to kill her, which was linked to Dow based on pictures he had posted on social media.

Writings by Dow in his jail cell had included notes in which he stated he would "destroy" anyone who tried to "take her from him."

Another letter sent to his brother was encouraging him not to cooperate with police, referring to his brother as the "smoking gun."

Further investigation of Dow's cellphone found messages suggesting he had assaulted Jensen days before her death, and Jensen had sent him a message saying she was going to buy a plane ticket and leave. Dow had responded saying he would be getting custody of their daughter, and Jensen "would never see her again."

Dow was due to be released in February after serving his time for interfering with a dead body along with a drugs conviction, but now could face life in prison if convicted.

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