Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Anna Nicole Fowler
Affidavit of Probable Cause
I. Crime Scene
On Wednesday, October 6, 2004, at 6:18 AM, officers from the Upper Merion Township Police Department responded to the Motel 6, 815 DeKalb Pike in Upper Merion Township on the report of vandalism to an automobile in the parking lot. Officers Glenn MUNTZER and Andrew FIDLER of the Upper Merion Police Department were the first officers to arrive at the scene and discovered broken shards of window glass scattered about the parking lot. From their position in the lot, the officers could see that a second-floor motel window had been broken. They determined the broken window was in Room 252.
Officers MUNTZER and FIDLER went to Room 252 to speak to the occupants and insure that no one had been injured. After knocking on the door and receiving no reply, a Motel 6 employee provided police access to the room with a passkey. Upon opening the door, the officers found Room 252 in disarray. The lights were off, the television was blaring, and the shower was running. The officers identified themselves and entered the room. Inside, Officer FIDLER observed a bed blanket rolled in a ball beneath the broken window. He approached the blanket and, after prodding and pulling aside a corner, observed what appeared to be the pale skin of a human arm. He pulled the blanket back further and confirmed that the blanket had indeed concealed the lifeless body of a white female. The officers immediately retreated from the room, secured it, and called for investigative assistance. Motel patrons reported to police they heard glass breaking at various times during the early morning hours of October 6, 2004.
Detectives from the Upper Merion Police Department and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Homicide Unit immediately commenced an investigation into this death. Detectives identified the victim as Anna Nicole FOWLER, a 19-year-old resident of East Norriton Township. They also quickly learned that FOWLER’s gold 1999 four door Mitsubishi Galant bearing Pennsylvania registration DZN-7725 was missing. Detectives searched for this car, which was not found in the area of the Motel 6. They discovered it on Wednesday evening, October 6, 2004, abandoned in the 600 block of Jamison Alley in Norristown.
Members of the Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Forensic Science Unit and Evidence Technicians from the Upper Merion Police Department processed Room 252 and the surrounding area of the Motel 6 property. Police found broken glass around the motel room which appeared to be from the broken window. Inside the room they seized a number of items of evidence, including blankets with glass fragments, evidence of “crack”” cocaine usage, red-tinged wet towels, a blue and grey hooded sweatshirt, white sneakers, used latex gloves, tape, multiple Motel 6 room keys and a bloodied, cut telephone cord.
On Wednesday, October 6, 2004 at 9:00 AM, Montgomery County Deputy Coroner Steve RICHARDSON arrived at the Motel 6 and pronounced FOWLER dead.
On Wednesday, October 6, 2004 Dr. Ian HOOD, a Forensic Pathologist, performed an autopsy upon FOWLER’s body. During the autopsy, Dr. HOOD noted that FOWLER was gagged with a red cloth and a piece of red fabric was tied around her eyes. At autopsy, FOWLER weighed approximately 255 pounds. She sustained a number of stab wounds to her chest and torso, as well as a slash wound to her neck. Her left index finger sustained a laceration which Dr. HOOD deemed to be defensive in nature. She sustained bruising to her genital and rectal areas. Dr. Hood found evidence that FOWLER’S wrists and ankles had been bound. Upon completion of the autopsy, Dr. HOOD concluded FOWLER died as a result of multiple stab wounds and a slash wound to the neck; the Manner of Death is Homicide.
III. Motel 6
Detective Allan ELVERSON of the Upper Merion Police Department checked the business records of Motel 6 and learned that a Patrick McCARTHY, 1567 Brown Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania checked in to Room 252 at 2:18 AM on Tuesday, October 5, 2004. Detectives have determined 1567 Brown Street in Norristown does not exist.
On Wednesday, October 6, 2004, Upper Merion Police Detectives Les GLAUNER and Paul RICHARD interviewed Tyrena Brown, a front desk manager at the Motel 6. She provided investigators with printouts showing the times electronic room cards were issued for Room 252 as well as each instance in which the cards were used to access the door to Room 252. She confirmed that a person providing identification in the name of Patrick McCARTHY registered for Room 252 at 2:18 AM. She provided him with one electronic room card at that time.
On Wednesday, October 6, 2004 detectives interviewed a housekeeping supervisor at Motel 6. She said that on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 at about 12:00 PM she spoke with the dark-skinned male who occupied Room 252. He declined room service but did request a supply of towels. ASKEW said the man was nervous, and told her he intended to go downstairs and pay for an extra day on the room.
According to Motel 6 records, McCARTHY extended his room rental for a period of one day. In addition, at 12:29 PM, he obtained a second electronic room card for Room 252, a card that was used to re-enter Room 252 at 12:39 PM. McCARTHY subsequently obtained new cards for Room 252 at 3:51 PM and 10:00 PM on Tuesday, October 5, 2004.
Tyrena BROWN also told detectives about Room 252 activity in the morning hours of Wednesday, October 6, 2004. She said she was stationed at the front desk at about 4:45 AM when the same man who checked into Room 252 the previous morning reported he lost his room key and needed another. The man who asked for this key was, at the time, wearing a dark jacket with red trim. Key card records for Motel 6 indicate this replacement key was created at 4:43 AM and used to enter Room 252 at 4:57 AM. BROWN said that about 20-25 minutes after she cut this key, the same man returned to the front desk, this time without the dark jacket, and said the new key did not work. At 5:11 AM, BROWN created another room entry card for Room 252. That card was used to enter Room 252 at 5:22 AM. This was the last time anyone accessed that room before the arrival of responding police officers.
On Wednesday October 13, 2004, Tyrena BROWN attended a lineup in Philadelphia. She positively identified Patrick Alexi McCARTHY as the man whom she checked into Room 252 on October 5, 2004 and the man who obtained two separate electronic keys to Room 252 between 4:43 and 5:11 AM on October 6, 2004.
Police learned that McCARTHY lived with his parents at 1055 Powell Street in Norristown.
IV. FOWLER’s Financial Accounts
Detectives searched the records of the Sunoco A-Plus at Main Street and Haws Avenue in Norristown. They found that someone used FOWLER’s Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card at 12:44 AM on Wednesday, October 6, 2004 at the ATM inside the store.
Detectives searched the records of the Wachovia Bank ATM located near the Norristown Transportation Center and found that FOWLER’s ATM card was used there on October 6th at 1:14 AM.
Detectives searched the records of the Amoco Gas Station at Main and Markley Streets in Norristown and found that FOWLER’s ATM card was again used there on October 6th at 2:24 AM.
Detectives obtained the video surveillance tapes of all of these ATM locations. On all the tapes, Patrick Alexi McCARTHY is seen either attempting an ATM transaction or walking in the area of the ATM. In the color recordings from both the Sunoco and Amoco locations, McCARTHY is seen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with a gray bottom and thin red piping. He is also seen wearing dark pants and white sneakers.
Detectives compared the blue and gray sweatshirt recovered inside Room 252 with the one McCARTHY is seen wearing inside the Sunoco and Amoco locations. Based upon several unique characteristics, detectives have concluded it is the same sweatshirt. Furthermore, this blue and gray sweatshirt is identical in appearance to the one McCARTHY is seen wearing in the black and white surveillance tape showing him at the Motel 6 front desk for check-in at the Motel 6 on October 5 at 2:18 AM. Similarly, the white high-top sneakers McCARTHY is seen wearing inside the A-Plus are identical in appearance to the ones found inside Room 252, and within feet of FOWLER’s dead body.
Montgomery County Detective Michael GILBERT spoke to a Security Manager at Capital One. She told him that FOWLER has a Capital One Platinum VISA card with that financial institution. On Tuesday, October 5, 2004 at 7:58 PM and again at 8:30 PM someone called Capital One’s “800”” number and accessed the automated customer service system and attempted, unsuccessfully, to increase the credit limit for FOWLER’s VISA card.
V. FOWLER’s Cellular Telephone Records
Detectives obtained and analyzed call detail reports for Anna FOWLER’s cellular telephone, particularly those covering the period of Tuesday, October 5 through Wednesday, October 6, 2004. From our review of these records, we have learned the following:
1) At 1:27 AM and 1:45 AM, “blocked number”” calls are made from Patrick McCARTHY’s home telephone number to the victim’s cellular telephone number.
2) Between 7:55 PM and 8:38 PM on Tuesday, October 5, 2004, FOWLER’s cell phone is used seven (7) times to call the 800 numbers of Wachovia Bank, Bank One and other MAC-issuing financial institutions.
3) Between 1:39 AM and 5:07 AM on Wednesday, October 6, 2004, FOWLER’s cell phone is used to make six (6) calls to the cell phones of individuals identified as friends of Patrick McCARTHY.
VI. Victim’s Relationship with McCarthy
On October 6 and 11, 2004, Montgomery County and Upper Merion Police Department detectives spoke to Rita ARMSTRONG, the victim’s mother. ARMSTRONG last saw her daughter at their Barley Sheaf Drive home in East Norriton Township on Monday, October 4, 2004 between 10:00 and 11:00 PM. FOWLER told her mother she had an important appointment the following evening. FOWLER went to bed, as did her mother, around 11:30 PM.
ARMSTRONG woke at 8:30 AM on Tuesday morning, October 5, 2004 and realized her daughter was gone. According to ARMSTRONG, FOWLER took no make-up with her and had apparently not showered. It appeared as if she left suddenly. ARMSTRONG checked with her husband Paul, who told her (and the police) that he had seen her leave the house in her car at 1:30 AM.
Police interviewed Carly BARKER, FOWLER’s cousin. BARKER told the detectives she last spoke to FOWLER at about 11:00 AM on Tuesday October 5th on the telephone when they confirmed their plans to get together later that evening. FOWLER never showed up for their meeting.
VII. Patrick “Lex”” McCARTHY Lies to Police
On Sunday, October 10, 2004 Norristown Police arrested Patrick McCARTHY on charges unrelated to this murder. Montgomery County Detective James McGOWAN and Upper Merion Police Department Officer Allan ELVERSON interviewed McCARTHY concerning this murder. Among other things, McCarthy told detectives the following:
(1) McCARTHY stated that sometime on Monday, October 4, 2004 he spoke to Anna FOWLER and they talked about getting together.
(2) McCARTHY claimed that on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 at about 2:00 AM, “a couple hours”” after he last spoke to FOWLER, she showed up to pick him up at his house in Norristown. McCARTHY said they stopped at Via Roma on DeKalb Street to pick up some drinks and then drove to the Motel 6 in King of Prussia where he registered for a room.
(4) McCARTHY said he wore a blue and gray shirt and dark pants at the time he checked into the motel. He claimed he did not know where those clothes were at the time he spoke to detectives.
(5) According to McCARTHY, he took FOWLER’s car and spent most of Tuesday in Norristown. He told police he went back to his house on Powell Street at about midnight where he fell asleep and did not wake until Wednesday morning when he said to himself “Oh ****, I gotta get back and give her, her car””.
(6) McCARTHY claimed he left his house on Powell Street and went directly to the Motel 6. Once there, he pulled up and went to the front desk where he obtained a new key and asked the clerk for an 8:00 AM wake-up call.
(7) McCARTHY stated he walked back to Room 252 and opened the door with the new key. He said when he stepped into the room he heard the water running in the shower and saw the room was all messed up. He stepped into the room and saw a bundle of sheets on the side of the room and “figured the ball of sheets was her””. McCARTHY said he then left Motel 6 in the victim’s Mitsubishi Galant. He did not notify the police, ambulance or motel personnel.
(10) McCARTHY denied using the victim’s credit or ATM cards to obtain cash from an ATM machine and denied using the victim’s cell phone at any time during the past week.
Detectives wrote McCARTHY’s statement longhand and he read and signed each page, stating the facts were true. After McCARTHY read his statement, he assured the detectives of its accuracy and signed all thirteen pages. Detectives McGOWAN and ELVERSON then explained to him that detectives had spoken to a number of other persons who provided information inconsistent with what he had just told them. McCARTHY then admitted he had lied to the police. McCARTHY admitted he lied about using FOWLER’s bankcards without her permission. He said he found the victim’s Personal Identification Number (PIN) inside her car and tried to obtain cash but was unsuccessful.
McCARTHY admitted lying to the police about using FOWLER’s cellular telephone. After being confronted about his lies, McCARTHY said he used FOWLER’s cellular telephone to send a text message to his baby’s mother’s cousin, but denied using FOWLER’s phone for any other calls.
On October 7, 2004, while police were searching for Patrick Alexi McCARTHY, detectives interviewed Patrick Donovan McCARTHY, the father of Patrick Alexi McCARTHY. Patrick Donaovan McCARTHY told police he last saw his son on Tuesday October 5th around midnight. He told police his son stopped by their home at 1055 Powell Street in Norristown and they had an argument about, among other things, his son’s failure to take responsibility for his life. He told police his son left the home after they fought and he had not seen his son since that time.
Based upon the foregoing, detectives have concluded:
1. On Tuesday, October 5, 2004 at 1:27 AM, McCARTHY called the victim’s cell phone to get her to meet him as they discussed earlier in the evening.
2. On Tuesday, October 5, 2004 at about 1:30 AM, FOWLER suddenly left her parents’ home in East Norriton and drove to Norristown where she picked up Patrick McCARTHY, drove to a liquor store and then to the King of Prussia Motel 6.
3. McCARTHY checked into the Motel 6 at 2:18 AM.
4. The last known time FOWLER spoke with anyone was mid-day on Tuesday when she spoke to Carly BARKER. During that conversation FOWLER confirmed her plans to meet BARKER later that evening. FOWLER never showed up for this planned meeting, despite its importance to her.
5. In the early evening of Tuesday, October 5, 2004, McCARTHY used the victim’s car, cellular telephone and bankcards without her permission. We also believe McCARTHY used the victim’s cellular telephone to call FOWLER’S financial institutions to attempt to increase her credit limits so he could obtain money to flee.
6. McCARTHY lied to police about his use of the victim’s bank-cards, car and telephone. McCARTHY spent much time throughout the evening attempting to obtain an increase of FOWLER’s credit limit to obtain money and during the early morning hours trying to steal FOWLER’s money via her ATM card.
7. McCARTHY is caught on video surveillance at 12:44 AM and 2:24 AM using FOWLER’s MAC card. He is wearing the same blue and gray sweatshirt and white sneakers detectives discovered in the motel room with FOWLER’s body. We believe he left these clothes in Room 252 after he returned around 3:00 AM. After McCARTHY returned to Room 252 at 3:00 AM, he went in and out six times before the arrival of the police. We believe during this time period McCARTHY attempted to clean out the room and dispose of Fowler’s body.
8. We believe McCARTHY intentionally murdered Anna FOWLER inside Motel 6 Room 252 on Tuesday October 5, 2004 and stole her car, bank-cards and cellular telephone. We believe he sexually assaulted her prior to her murder based upon the injuries found at her autopsy.
9. We believe McCARTHY broke the motel room window so that he could throw FOWLER’s body out the window and hide her to conceal his crimes. We believe he was unsuccessful because he was too weak to lift her body alone, thus he abandoned this effort and fled the motel shortly before 6AM when other motel patrons were likely to awaken
As a result of the foregoing, we request an Arrest Warrant be issued for Patrick Alexi McCARTHY, black male, 22 years, DOB: 12/23/1981, charging him with First, Second and Third Degree Murder and the lesser related offenses enumerated in the attached Criminal Complaint.
Detective James McGOWAN Detective Allan ELVERSON
Montgomery County Detectives Upper Merion Police Dept.