Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Declaration of Warrants / Summons. Event# 051214-0519. The State of Nevada, County of Clark vs. Craig Michael Titus, Kelly Ann Ryan, and Anthony Gross.
Detective D. O'Kelley, being first duly sworn, deposes and says:
That he is a police officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, being so employed for a period of 14 years, assigned to investigate the crime(s) of Murder, Arson and/or Accessory to Murder committed on or about 12/14/2005, which investigation has developed Craig Michael Titus, Kelly Ann Ryan, and Anthony Gross as the perpetrator thereof.
That declarant developed the following facts in the course of the investigation of said crime to wit:
On 12/14/2005, at approximately 0631 hours, the Las Vegas Metroplotian Police Department was notified the Mountain Springs Volunteer Fire Department, under the jurisdiction of the Clark Country Fire Department, had responded to a vehicle fire reported on Sandy Valley Road, south of State Route 160. Upon extinguishing the fire, the burned remains of an unidentified person was discover in the trunk area of the burned vehicle, a 2003 Jaguar, four door, X-Type bearing Nevada license plates 269-PPL.
Detectives observed the burned remains of an unidentified person positioned in the trunk of the above vehicle. The observed remains were severely burned beyond recognition and appeared to represent the physical size of a small person as indicated by the length of the remaining torso, legs and small rib cage. Remnants of the victim's clothing, a blue hooded sweater, denim jeans and red panties, along with items of jewelry, indicated the person was most likely female. Although the head of the victim was covered with what appeared to be a blanket, reddish brown hair was visible on the back side of the head. The remains of a suitcase was found laying in the back seat area of the car along with the remains of what appeared to be women's clothing. Adjacent to the suitcase on the driver's side of the back seat was the charred remains of a barbeque tool set. Clark County Arson investigator Mark Passalacqua advised his preliminary examination indicated an accelerant was used to ignite the vehicle fire.
On 12/14/2005, at 1024 hours, Detectives R. Wilson, K. Hardy and C. Mogg contacted Kelly Ryan, the registered owner of the 2003 Jaguar in which the victim's body was found, at her residence of (Getbig deleted), Las Vegas, Nevada, 89148. Ryan told detectives she and her husband, Craig Titus, discovered her red, 2003 Jaguar missing from their garage at approximately 0500 hours on 12/14/2005. Both Ryan and Titus said they believed their live-in personal assistant, Melissa James, had taken the car from the garage without permission. No call was made to the police to report the theft. Ryan told detectives Titus solicited the assistance of a friend, Anthony Gross, to search for James and Ryan's 2003 Jaguar. Ryan told detectives Titus and Gross searched for about an hour without success and decided to wait for James to return the vehicle on her own. A records check from a previous police report wherein Gross was the victim of a stolen vehicle revealed the cellular telephone number of Anthony Gross was (Getbig deleted - Anthony's cell).
Ryan and Titus are both professional athletes / bodybuilders / personal trainers who conduct business under the name of Emperor Enterprises Inc, (Getbig deleted), Las Vegas, Nevada, 89128. Ryan and Titus had hired James to manage their personal affairs. Ryan and Titus said they had recently discovered James was taking money out of their bank account and charging items to their credit cards without their permission. No report of the embezzlement was made to the police. Because of the discovered embezzlement, James was told she had to leave their house. On 12/13/2005, after James packed a suitcase with some of her belongings, Ryan claimed she drove James to the Green Valley Grocer convenience store located on the southwest corner of Hacienda and Ft. Apache where James was dropped off at approximately 1530 hours. Ryan told detectives she used her Jaguar to take James to the convenience store while Titus said she used his silver Dodge truck. Titus signed a consent to search card for his residence and showed detectives the room where James had been staying. Titus pointed out a Wells Fargo credit card belonging to Kelly Ryan laying on a dining room chair with a cellular phone, number (Getbig deleted - Mellisa's cell). The cellular phone was not taken from James, nor was the service disconnected. Ryan told detectives her cellular telephone number was (Getbig deleted - Craig's cell) and Titus' cellular number was (Getbig deleted - Business cell).
Titus admitted to Detective C. Mogg P#5096, he was having an affair with James that his wife Ryan did not know about. He said there has been tension between Ryan and James because of James embezzling money so he had rented a room for James at a La Quinta hotel on West Sahara. He said he had rented the room for two nights and he had spent most of one night of James at her room. A records check at the La Quinta Inn at (Getbig deleted) showed Craig Titus rented room #232 from 12/12/05 to 12/14/05 paying with a credit card belonging to Emperor Enterprises Inc, with Craig Titus listed as a signer. Titus also listed his telephone number as (Getbig deleted - Craig's cell) and his vehicle as a Dodge Viper truck.
Ryan described James as wearing a blue, long sleeved shirt and blue jeans when she last saw her at the Green Valley Grocer. Ryan also told detectives James had recently had her hair dyed to a reddish brown color.
A records check on Melissa James, DOB 03/23/1977, revealed a physical description of a white female adult, 5'05", 120lbs, brown hair and blue eyes. A photograph of James was also obtained from police records.
On 12/15/2005, at 0800 hours, an autopsy was performed on the body of Jane "Sandy Valley" Doe by Doctor Kublczek at the Clark County Coroner's office. The body was confirmed to be a female of approximately the same height as Melissa James, along with similar hair color and length.
Once the charred remains of what appeared to be a loose weave blanket was removed from around the victim's head and body, it was discovered the victim's head was encircled with grey duct tape from just above the eyebrows to just below the lower lip of the mouth. A white fabric ligature was tied around the neck of the victim with a partial knot positioned on the left side of the neck. More of the same white fabric was found under the victims neck along with portions of the off-white blanket material, duct tape and a length of double sided, insulated wire. When these materials were removed from behind the victim's head and neck, detectives smelled a strong odor of what believed was lighter fluid. The face of the victim was partially covered with duct tape at the time of the fire which left some of the facial features intact. The facial features, i.e., length of the nose, size and position of the ears, position of the eyebrows, set of the eyes, and overall shape of the head were consistent with the photograph of Melissa James. At the conclusion of the autopsy, Doctor Kubiczek informed detectives the manner of death of homicide.
Doctor Kubiczek noted hemorrhages on the musculature of the neck on both sides and told detectives the cause of death was most likely asphyxiation, but withheld the official determination until he reviewed laboratory test results. Doctor Kubiczek informed detectives the victim had chicken and rice in her stomach.
Given the physical description and photograph of James obtained from police records compared to the victim's body at autopsy, combined with the description of James and her clothing provided by Ryan, detectives believe the victim is Melissa James. This belief is bolstered by the fact the body was discovered in the trunk of Ryan's 2003 Jaguar; the same vehicle in which Ryan drove James to the Green Valley Grocer; the same vehicle Ryan and Titus believed was taken from their garage by James. On 12/15/05, an administrative subpoena for the cell detail information for James's cellular phone, number (Getbig deleted - Melissa's cell), was served on Cingular Wireless, P.O. Box 24679, West Palm Beach, Florida. The records for James' cellular phone indicated several calls were made on the morning of 12/13/2005 to the number Titus listed on the La Quinta room registration (Getbig deleted - Titus' cell#). The same number was called at 0333 hours, 1106 hours and 1119 hours. The last call made from the cellular phone was at 1142 hours, on 12/13/2005 to James' mother, Maura James, at number (Getbig deleted - Maura's cell).
On 12/15/2005. at 1108 hours, Detective O'Kelley contacted Maura James who said she last heard from her daughter was on 12/13/2005, at about 1430 hours, her time in New Jersey which translates to 1130 hours Las Vegas time. Maura James said her daughter told her she was getting some lunch at a KFC and said she was looking forward to coming to New Jersey for Christmas. Maura James said she heard her daughter asking someone what they wanted to eat and asker her who she was with, but didn't get a response because Melissa was ordering the food. Melissa told her mother she would call her back as soon as she got done with lunch, but she never received another call from her daughter. Maura James said she tried to get a hold of Melissa several times, but she never answered the phone.
On 12/15/2005, an administrative subpoena for the call detail information for (Getbig deleted, Craig cell) was served on T-Mobile, 12920 SE 38th Street, Bellevue, WAS 98006. The records were for the number listed by Titus on the La Quinta registration form. The call detail confirmed the calls made from James' cellular phone on the morning of 12/13/2005 with the same times indicated. No additional calls between the two numbers are indicated.
On 12/15/2005. the records were obtained for cellular phone number (Getbig deleted - Business cell); the number Titus gave to detectives at the time he was contacted at his residence on 12/14/2005. The records indicated an exchange of 14 (fourteen) incoming and outgoing calls with number (Getbig deleted - Kelly's cell) between 1218 hours and 1341 hours. Detectives later determined the (Getbig deleted - Kelly's cell) number belonged to Ryan's cellular phone. The call detail also showed several calls to and from (Getbig deleted - Anthony's cell), Anthony Gross' cellular phone, on 12/13/2005 beginning at 1528 hours. Thirteen additional calls were made: incoming - 1823 hours, outgoing - 1946 hours, incoming - 2008 hours, outgoing 0231 hours, on 12/14/2005, outgoing - 0234 hours, outgoing 0 0322 hours, incoming - 0326 hours, outgoing - 0346 hours, outgoing - 0348 hours, outgoing - 0356 hours, outgoing - 0420 hours, and outgoing - 0428 hours. All of the calls to Gross' cellular phone are prior to the time Titus said he discovered Ryan's Jaguar missing from the garage at 0500 hours. Though a single call was placed to James' cellular phone at 0706 hours, no attempt was made to contact James during the time Titus claimed to be looking for her with the assistance of Gross.
On 12/16/2005, at approximately 2130 hours, Detective O'Kelly received a call from a woman who identified herself as Mandy. During the conversation, Mandy said she wished to remain anonymous, but wanted to relate some information concerning the body found in the burned Jaguar. Mandy agreed to come to the Homicide office the following day to speak with detectives.
On 12/17/05, at approximately 1030 hours, Detective O'Kelly contacted George and Angela Gross at their residence of (Getbig deleted) in an attempt to locate their son Anthony Gross. Angela Gross called and left a message on Anthony's cellular phone. Angela sad Anthony was driving a 2003, charcoal grey, Dodge Pick-up truck, but the vehicle was registered in her name.
On 12/17/2005, at approximately 1554 hours, Detectives O'Kelly and Wilson obtained a recorded statement from Lauren Amanda Polk, DOB: 01/28/1985. During the interview, Polk told detectives she was an amateur athlete in the sport of Muscle & Fitness and had moved to Las Vegas in mid-October with her boyfriend Ryan Chastain in order to work with Kelly Ryan. Polk said she and Chastain were renting the house at (Getbig deleted), Las Vegas, Nevada, from Ryan and Titus.
Polk said sometimes in the early afternoon of 12/15/2005, she received a phone call from Titus saying he was in a bad situation, needed to get out of town for a while and he and Ryan wanted to come see Polk and Chastain before they left. Titus and Ryan arrived at their house at about 1700 hours while Polk was upstairs taking a nap. Ryan came upstairs and immediately embraced Polk saying somebody had found her red Jaguar, burned, with a dead body inside. Titus added the fact they weren't home when someone stole the car and it all looks really bad. Titus and Ryan told Polk and Chastain about Homicide detective coming over to the house claiming they didn't know anything more than what detectives told them, but then said the less they told Polk and Chastain, the better because they didn't want to get them involved. Titus and Ryan said they just needed a place to stay until things died down.
A short time later, Polk and Ryan left the house to go get something for dinner. While in the car, Ryan initially tried to maintain ignorance as to what happened with her car, but then broke down saying she couldn't lie to Polk anymore. Ryan proceeded to tell Polk she had found their roommate, Melissa, dead in her room from an overdose. Polk said Ryan told her Melissa had been dead for a few hours and couldn't describe what she looked like because it would traumatize Polk for life. Polk said Ryan proceeded to tell her she was "fucked" because she bought seven bottles of lighter fluid at Wal-mart with the credit card at 0330 hours. Ryan told her when she got back to the house, Titus had her remove the sweater suit she was wearing at the Wal-Mart and put it with Melissa's things while Titus put Ryan's credit card in Melissa's room. Polk said Ryan told her they drove the car "pretty far out" and took care of it, but didn't specify where they had taken the car. Ryan told Polk they got back to the house and were through with everything at around 0600 hours and then Homicide came to the house by 1000 hours. Polk said she confronted Ryan about why she didn't just call the police if Melissa killed herself and Ryan responded by saying Craig told her "No body, no crime". Ryan told Polk she just did what Titus told her to do, that she thought Titus got someone to get rid of Melissa, and she didn't kill anyone. The only thing Polk remember Titus saying about the incident was he had told his attorney he found a girl OD's in his car.
Polk said she and Chestain allowed Titus and Ryan to stay the night, but got them a hotel room in Chastain's name at a Holiday Inn on West Sahara. Polk said Titus and Ryan slept on the floor in the master bedroom because they didn't want to stay in any rooms with windows to the front of the house.
On 12/17/2005, at 1704 hours, Detective Wilson obtained a recorded interview with Ryan Chastain. During the interview, Chastain told Detective Wilson Tits and Ryan were dropped off at their house on Thursday, 12/15/2006. Chastain said Titus and Ryan told them someone had stolen their car, was trying to steal their identity, and had OD'd in their house. Chastain also told Detective Wilson he heard Titus say something like "she'd went down and stairs and she was done, that was it. I mean, you gotta understand." Chastain said Titus and Ryan told them they planned to leave the country to a non-extraditable country. Chastain said he used his ID and paid cash to rent a room for Titus and Ryan at a Holiday Inn after allowing them to stay at their house for the night. Chastain also told detectives Titus said he was going to trade in his Dodge truck.
On 12/19/2005, at approximately 1400 hours, Detective Wilson obtained a copy of digital surveillance recorded between the hours of 0400 and 0430 hours at the Short Line Express Market Shell station located at (Getbig deleted) on the northwest corner of State Route 160 and Rainbow Boulevard. The video shows a charcoal grey Dodge pick-up truck followed by a red, mid-sized, four door, vehicle pulling into the parking lot from southbound Rainbow at 0412 hours. The grey truck pulled up to the west side of the westernmost gas pumps while the red vehicle drove to the south side of the store out of camera view.
On 12/19/2005, at 1606 hours, Detective Wilson obtained a recorded statement from Gregory Ruiz at the Homicide office. Ruiz said he was business partners with Titus and had been contacted by him late Saturday morning on 12/17/2005. Ruiz said he went to a Subway sandwich shop where he met Titus and Ryan and drove them back to his house at (Getbig deleted). While at the house, Titus said to Ruiz "I'm guilty", but wouldn't explain further. Titus told Ruiz he had to leave the country. Titus said he intended to go to Boston where he would meet another bodybuilder friend who could help him liquidate his assets and get to a non-extraditable country. Ruiz said Titus told him he had traded in his Dodge truck for a new vehicle.
On 12/19/2005, at 1815 hours, Detectives O'Kelley and Wilson obtained a recorded statement from Anthony Gross at his attorney Louis Palazzo's office at (Getbig deleted). During the interview, Gross claimed he was asleep with his girlfriend, when he received several calls from Titus, but wouldn't answer the phone. Gross said he eventually answered the phone and Titus told him he needed his help. The only details Titus gave to Gross was to tell him to come meet him "over here" and they had to get some gas. Gross said he agreed to meet Titus, leaving the apartment still in his pajamas and driving to Blue Diamond (State Route 160) and Rainbow. Gross initially said Titus was already parked on the side of the Shell station in the red Jaguar when he arrived, but later said they pulled into the parking lot together by coincidence when confronted with the video surveillance. Gross said he put some gas in the gas can he brought with him and placed it on the center console of his truck.
Gross said he got a call from Titus telling him to drive right / west on Blue Diamond and didn't get another call from Titus until just before the road they turned right onto. Gross said he stopped on the right side of the road after the headlights of the Jaguar were flashed behind him. Gross said Ryan jumped into his right front passenger seat and was told to turn around. After turning around and pulling up next to the Jaguar, Gross handed Titus the small metal gas can through his open driver's side window. Gross and Ryan told him to pull forward so he moved approximately two car lengths north of the Jaguar on the opposite side of the road. Gross claimed he didn't know or see what Titus did with the gas can because Ryan had engaged him in conversation by telling him not to tell anyone about what was happening. Gross said Titus returned to the truck less than one minute after leaving with the gas can, jumped into the back seat through the driver's door, and yelled "Go! Go! Go!" When Gross was confronted about owning a kinetic flash light, he admitted to owning one and said it must have fallen out of the truck when Titus jumped in the back seat. Gross said they drove together back to Las Vegas without talking about what happened. Gross dropped Titus and Ryan off at their house, declined an invitation to come inside, and went back to his apartment where he went to sleep. Gross said he was gone from his apartment for about 45 minutes. Gross claimed he didn't learn about the body being in the car until the following day.
Detective O'Kelley asked Gross if he would allow Criminalistics personnel and detectives to meet with him for photographs of his truck. He told detectives he had changed the tires on his truck because he had a blowout the day after the incident with Titus and Ryan. Gross said two of the tires were left at a Discount Tire and the other two were at a friend's house.
On 12/20/2005, Sergeant Alby obtained a VHS tape and photographs of video surveillance recorded on the morning of 12/14/2005 at the Wal-Mart Superstore located at (Getbig deleted). Sergeant Alby also obtained a reproduction of a store receipt for a transaction that occurred at 0331 hours wherein six, 64 fluid ounce, bottles of "Kinsford" charcoal lighter fluid and one, 64 fluid ounce, bottle of "Premium Quality" charcoal lighter fluid was purchased. Also purchased was a barbeque tool set and a bottle of juice. The purchase was made with a Wells Fargo Visa used to Kelly Ryan. Sergeant Alby obtained a photograph of the barbeque tool set with the same store skew number. The video surveillance photographs show a woman with dark, shoulder length hair, wearing a red sweat suit with a white stripe running down the sleeves and down the outside of the pant legs pushing a shopping cart with the seven white bottles of charcoal lighter fluid.
The video surveillance photographs of the outside of the store following the purchase, show the same woman walking to a red, mid sized car of similar size and shape to an X-Type Jaguar where she met a male driver at 0333 hours. The video surveillance tape shows the male driver wearing a dark shirt with a lighter colored jacket or shirt getting out of the car and helping the woman place the purchased items in the back seat. With the women getting into the right front passenger seat and the male driving, the vehicle pulled away from the front of the store at 0336 hours.
Detective have also learned Titus went to Integrity Dodge sometimes after 12/14/2005 where he trade in his silver, Dodge Viper truck for a khaki, 2006 Dodge 2500 Mega Cab, Vin# (Getbig deleted).
Wherefore, declarant prays that a Warrant of Arrest be issued for suspect Craig Michael Titus on a charge of Murder. I declare under penalty of perjury under the law of the State of Nevada that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed on this 20tsh day of December, 2005.