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Titus & Ryan Case|
Grand Jury Transcripts
Lauren Amanda Polk
April 3, 2006
Lauren Amanda Polk, aka Mandy Polk, is one person that allegedly Kelly confided in what occurred. Mandy, girlfriend of Ryan Chastain, came to Las Vegas to learn from Kelly. Unfortunately, she got caught up in something beyond her control. Here is the Las Vegas Grand Jury transcript with Lauren.
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Q: State your name
A: Lauren Amanda Polk
Q: Now you sometimes use Amanda?
A: Right. It's Lauren Amanda Polk. I go by Mandy to clear up any confusion.
Q: Yes, I wanted to do that because I referred to you as Amanda Polk. Do you live here in Las Vegas?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: Do you know Kelly Ryan?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: How do you know her?
A: Through fitness competitions. We were introduced by mutual friend and had contact over the phone and internet and met when I moved out her to Las Vegas.
Q: Okay. When did you first start communicating with Kelly Ryan on the internet?
A: That would have to have been, that was in July, early July.
Q: Of 2005.
Q: And where were you living at the time?
A: In Germantown, Tennesee.
Q: Why did you start talking over the internet?
A: I had an interest in renting a suit that I knew belonged to her and the woman who made the suit for her advised me to contact her about it, and she told me that , the woman who made the suit, C.J. , she told me that Kelly was having a hard time with her career in the fitness industry in general and that some support would really be helpful and that she would more than likely, you, consent to renting the suit out to me if she heard from someone, you know, who had a positive view.
Q: So you're talking about a suit. Are you talking about a suit that you compete with?
A: Right, a fitness competition one-piece suit.
Q: At this time what was your view of Kelly Ryan?
A: I really, really admired her. I really looked up to Kelly. She influenced me from the very beginning in the way that, in my interest, she influenced me in my interest of the sport in the way that I approached routine training, by seeing her routines and her willingness and ability to improve every competition, it inspired and motivated me to try to, you know, do the same.
Q: At some point did you develop a professional relationship with Kelly Ryan that you decided to move to Las Vegas?
A: Absolutely. She gave me advice on my preparation, not so much, you know, diet and training, but more like mental preparation. She gave me advice on visualization exercises, you know, she would send me text messages that were, you know, motivating, and she seemed to really want me to do well at my competition in August.
Q: At some point did you decide to train with her?
A: Correct. Yes. After my August show I spoke with her, and I had placed fifth at that show and it takes the top two placings to turn professional, and she said that she thought that I would really, I would really turn professional at that show, but because I didn't she really wanted to help, to work with me, you know, one-on-one my routine.
Q: And based on that conversation did you eventually move to Las Vegas so you could training with Kelly Ryan?
Q: And part of your agreement to come to Las Vegas was to rent a house from Kelly Ryan and Craig Titus so you could training together?
A: Right. She had at first said you could come, if you can come for a week you can stay in my house, I'd love it if you could come for a month and you can rent out a house that I have, I don't know if you'd be interested in coming here long term, and I said oh, obsolutely.
Q: Did you agree to move to Las Vegas?
Q: And who did you move with?
A: I moved with my boyfriend Ryan Chastain.
Q: Approximately when you did arrive her in Las Vegas?
A: Mid October.
Q: Once you got into town did you and Ryan stop somewhere before you got to Kelly and Craig's house?
A: Yes. Are you talking about stopping to stay at a hotel?
Q: Stop once you were in Las Vegas. I'm sorry, that's a bad question.
A: Oh, yes. We stopped - Craig - Ryan and I met in a parking lot so that he could explain to me, he stopped, and I was following him in my car and we both stopped, and Ryan explained to me Craig, I called Craig to get directions and he said -
Q: Okay. Without telling me what Ryan said to you -
Q: Did you eventually stop somewhere to pick up something for Craig?
Q: Where did you stop?
A: We stopped at, I don't know the name of the store, it was some kind of electronics store, something like that.
Q: Did you see Ryan actually go into the store?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Did you stay in the car?
A: Yes, I stayed in my car.
Q: Okay. Did you eventually move into Craig & Kelly's rental house somewhere in October of 2005?
Q: Did you begin training regularly with Kelly?
A: Routine practice a few times, yes.
Q: How often would you train with Kelly?
A: The first week that I stayed in her house she helped me with my training every day. She'd come in and watch videos with me while I did my cardio and gave me advice on what kind of cardio I should be doing to prepare, and she would advise me in my weight training. They had a weight training, you know, facility in the house, and she'd, after I moved out we met at the gym for gymnastics and routine training two or three times.
Q: Did you lift weights with her or do any of that during the months of November and December of 2005?
A: No. I don't think she was working out at all.
Q: Would you consider yourself friends with Kelly during that time?
Q: How often did you speak with each other?
A: At least twice a week through text messaging, at least once a week on the phone. Maybe more.
Q: I'm going to fast forward to Thursday, December 15th of 2005.
Q: Did you get a call from either Craig or Kelly that day?
A: Yes, I got a call from Craig.
Q: What time was that?
A: Two in the afternoon.
Q: How do you know that was Craig calling you?
A: His name appeared on my cell phone. It said Craig's cell.
Q: Did you recognize his voice when you spoke to him?
Q: Was it unusual that Craig was calling you?
A: Yes, Craig never called me.
Q: What was the nature of that conversation that you had with Craig?
A: He informed me that he and Kelly would be coming over later because they had run into some trouble, it was a long story, difficult to explain, and he was going to, shortly after they were going to have to leave town for a long period of time.
Q: Was it unusual that Craig and Kelly would want to come over to your house?
Q: What did you say in response to that?
A: Because he told me and did not ask me I have a hesitant okay, and he said, I said I guess, just make sure you call before you come if you don't mind, he said oh, sure honey, we'll be calling you around five o'clock.
Q: And ---
A: Or, no, six o'clock, I apologize, he said six, he said I'll call you around six.
Q: Did he actually show up at your house?
A: Yes, he showed up at five.
Q: Did he call before he showed up?
Q: Who was with him when he showed up?
A: Kelly and Joey?
Q: Kelly's dog.
Q: Prior to this day, prior to that Thursday, when was the last time you had spoke to Kelly?
A: Prior to that Thursday I had seen her, I'd seen her maybe a week before. She came over to talk a little but and look at contest pictures and just hang out for a little while.
Q: Once Craig & Kelly get to your house on Thursday the 15th, what happens?
A: I went to change, but Kelly immediately came into my room and put her arms around me, seemed kind of panicky, sobbing a little bit, like she was like holding back emotion.
Q: What did she tell you?
A: She said "Oh my god, the police found my car burned up with a body in it."
Q: Did you ask her questions about that?
A: Yes. At first I didn't say anything because I was confused.
Q: Why were you confused?
A: That's not normal.
Q: Okay. Fair enough.
A: So I go, I just said what happened. Because she told me what they found but she didn't tell me what happened.
Q: And what did she say to you when you asked her what happened?
A: She, she said, she didn't really answer the question what happened, she just said "homicide was at out house this morning, there's a dead body in my car and it was burned up in the desert."
Q: Did she indicate to you at any time that she knew who was in the car, whose body it was in the car?
A: She indicated to me sometime within the like next ten minutes that her roommate was missing and they thought that it was her roommate and that her roommate probably stole the car. And I said I didn't know that you had a roommate.
Q: Had you ever heard of her having a roommate?
Q: Did you ever know Melissa James lived with them?
A: No, I had no idea. I didn't know who Melissa James was.
Q: You never met Melissa James?
Q: When she tells you about her roommate and that she had a roommate, it might be her in the car, was Craig present?
A: Craig was walking around the house like checking the doors and closing the blinds and all this so.
Q: Did Craig say anything at that time when he was shutting the blinds?
A: Not that I can recall.
A: I went in and changed. I went into my room and changed.
Q: Does Kelly follow you into you room to change?
A: No, she stayed outside the room.
Q: So you change your clothes. Then what happens?
A: I started feeling panicked because like I said that's not normal and I didn't really know how I was, you know, going to be involved in this and I was really confused about what happened and concerned for Kelly on a personal level because obviously that's going to change her circumstances, you know, however she got involved I didn't know, but it was just a lot of confusion and I was upset.
Q: Did you ask her some questions about the situation?
A: I did. And Craig came upstairs and he said, you know, "the less you know the better, really we don't want to involve you guys." He said "I'll say she was a drug addict and stealing from us."
Q: And those were comments that Craig made?
A: Right. Right.
Q: Did Kelly says anything about Melissa?
A: Yes. I said, I said "She was a drug addict?" Kelly goes "Yeah, she was a meth addict. She was a fucking tweeker." I had never heard that. I didn't know what that meant.
Q: Did you ask her to explain what that meant?
A: No. I put two and two together, that is must have meant that she was, you know, taking drugs of some sort.
Q: At some point during this conversation do you come to understand that they're insinuating or implying that Melissa is in the car?
Q: How do you come to that -
A: They said that, you know, she was supposed to go back home, and they said that their car, oh, that they had, they had taken her in to help her out, she was having a hard time in her life and they let her, you know, use the car, the red Jaguar, if, you know, Kelly didn't need it. They were just trying to give her her own space in the house and Kelly said, you know, give her a real sense of having her own life and her freedom to come and go. And they said that the car, they had seen, you know, that the car was in the driveway and then it was gone when, you know, homicide came over and Melissa was missing.
Q: Did they tell you what time they noticed that the car was gone and Melissa was missing?
A: No. I tried to ask because I was still concerned for them at this point because I didn't really understand. So I said, you know, did you notice that the car was gone, did you hear anything, and they said, they said no, that they didn't notice anything, that they were upstairs.
Q: Both Craig and Kelly said -
A: Yes, that they had been upstairs in the house.
Q: Did they tell you what time Melissa was supposed to be on the airplane or was supposed to go see her mom?
A: Kelly told me that she was supposed to leave that evening.
Q: Did Kelly tell you about the last time she saw Melissa?
A: Yes. She said she helped pack her things, that she helped Melissa pack her things, and she didn't tell me exactly who took Melissa from the house, obviously Melissa didn't have a vehicle to just, you know, drive off, so I wasn't really sure. She just said I helped her pack her things.
Q: Does there come a time when you and Kelly leave the house that night?
A: Yes. That evening we, Craig said that he wanted, he wanted Chinese food and that the girls should get us food so.
Q: So you did?
Q: What time was that?
A: Probably around seven o'clock, maybe 7:30.
Q: Whose car did you use to get the Chinese food?
Q: Did Kelly make any other comment to you about what happened to Melissa while you were in the car on the way to get Chinese food?
A: She didn't explain anything about what happened to Melissa, she explained how Melissa had been a source of stress in her life, saying that, you know, Melissa was a drug user and her behavior was erratic and, you know, she was unreliable and behaved and it really, and it really put Kelly in a stressful situation her being in her home. To which I asked, you know, we had talked several times and you had said that you were stressed out, you never ever said anything about the roommate being the source of your stress or that she was bothering you so, you know, what's up with that?
Q: And what was her response for not telling you about Melissa?
A: That, she said, she said you know Mandy, she said something to the effect of, you know Mandy, when things happen and something is going on in your life that causes you problems or, you know, creates a stressful situation, it isn't easy to always pinpoint what it is, and she said I think Melissa was an example of that to me, and I said fair enough.
Q: Did she say anything else on the way to get Chinese good to you?
A: Yes. She said that, I started asking for details about times, like so when was Melissa supposed to go home, when did she leave the house. Well, she was supposed to leave at ten at night or arrive at night at night, I don't remember which, then why was she leaving your house at two in the afternoon, did you talk to her after that. I was trying to, you know, help figure it out because Kelly seemed frazzled. To which Kelly replied "Okay Mandy, I can't lie to you anymore, I found the girl dead in her room of a drug overdose."
Q: So because you had been asking questions and kind of pushing her on things ---
A: And I wasn't trying to push her.
Q: You were asking questions, follow up questions?
A: Right. Right. Because I was confused and it seemed that she was confused. I don't want to say trying to help, but, you know, she seemed stressed out about it, I was just trying to, you know, talking to he like you would talk to a friend about something that went on.
Q: And then she said "I can't lie to you anymore?"
Q: What do you say in response to the fact Kelly said "I can't lie to you, I found her dead in the room?"
A: I sad "oh my gosh, wow," and I'm thinking, think, there was a pause, I go "So you burned her body up in your car?"
Q: And what did she say in response to that?
Q: Did you ask her why she didn't call 911?
A: Yes, that was my next response. I said so if you found her dead of an overdose, which is obviously, you know, not your fault, then why would you destroy the evidence of that, because then that just incriminates you.
Q: Was she able to give you an explanation for that?
A: Not really. She was like, she said , you know, she said "I'm fucked, I bought seven bottles of lighter fluid with my credit card at Wal-Mart," all this stuff about how freaked out she was and that, you know, basically that she wanted to get rid, she and Craig decided it was the best idea to get rid of the body because, you know, she was trying to move forward with her career, she already felt like they had taken a couple steps back, you know.
Q: So essentially she didn't want any negative publicity?
A: Exactly. That's what she said.
Q: Did she mention to you the phrase "No body, no crime?"
Q: And did you ask her to explain that?
Q: Did you ever confirm with her where exactly she found Melissa dead/
Q: When did you confirm that with her?
A: Probably, I 'm pretty sure it was on the way back from the restaurant because when we were in there I wasn't going to ask any questions about it in public, you know.
Q: So on the way back what do you ask her about where she found Melissa?
A: I just said "so you found the body, her body in her room?"
Q: And Kelly says what?
A: And she said, I think I even asked, I'm not a hundred percent sure on this, but I think I even asked in your room or in her room, and she made it clear that it was in her room.
Q: In Melissa's room?
A: In Melissa's room.
Q: You actually get Chinese food.
Q: Pick up the Chinese food? Is that a yes? You have to say yes for her.
Q: Where does Kelly go after that?
A: I sat in the car while Kelly went next door to get ice cream>
Q: Where did she buy ice cream from?
A: Stone Cold Creamery.
Q: Do you know why she did that or did she tell you anything about why she was doing that?
A: She just said Craig and I will want some ice cream after we eat Chinese food. She asked me if I wanted some, I said no thank you.
Q: Did you eventually go back to your house.
Q: What happened once you got back?
A: We brought the food upstairs. I carried the food into my kitchen, brought it upstairs, brought plates and things upstairs, went, I had to go, we had, you know, some Diet Cokes and Cokes in the car, so I said to her, you know, I 'm going to go in my car and get your drinks, you and Craig can start eating upstairs I guess. So I pulled Ryan out into the garage with me when I went to get the drinks and I told him, you know, quickly what she had told me, I was like, I said "oh my gosh Ryan, Kelly told me that, you know, they burned the roommate in the car. Kelly said they found her dead of a drug overdose. But I'm not supposed to, she doesn't want anyone, Craig or you to know that she told me, but I just thought it was only fair that you know what's going on."
Q: What did you do after you told Ryan in the garage?
A: I brought the drinks inside and went upstairs.
Q: You said you went upstairs. What room were you going upstairs to.
A: There was, there was like a hallway in our house, there was three bedrooms upstairs and then there was like, it wasn't a closed off room but it was an open area where we had our computer and just, you know, it was a bunch of space, and Craig said he didn't want to be near any windows so we sat in there.
Q: So you all ate your dinner upstairs in that area?
Q: For the rest of the night was there any other discussion about what happened to Melissa that you heard?
A: Before I, before Kelly and I went to bed, she was in the bathroom, you know, washing her face and all that and just getting read for bed, and she said she was really stressed out, really scared, that she didn't want, not that she didn't want, she said "I can't have my name attached to a murder. I didn't kill anyone." She said either she said "Whether Craig did it or had someone take care of it I don't know. All I know is that I didn't kill anyone."
Q: Did she use the word murder?
Q: Did she say anything else about her relationship with Melissa while you were in the bathroom.
A: She just, she said, she said that she was driving her crazy, that she put morphine in her water glasses, that Melissa put morphine at the bottom of Kelly's water glasses, that Kelly took Craig a glass of water and Craig noticed that there was something in it and they went and looked at the water glasses and there was a little bit of morphine at the bottom, and this had just happened and I saw was this after Melissa left that you noticed this and she said yes.
Q: During the evening did they, Craig and Kelly, talk about what their plans were for the next day and thereafter?
A: Yes. They, Craig said that they were going to have to move somewhere in Europe like with non-extradition laws, he said go to Mexico and then go to Greece was a possibility, a strong possibility.
Q: Did you ever hear Craig make any statements about what happened to Melissa?
A: He said that she, she was, he said she was shady and that they were, you know, he felt or he thought she was, you know, trying to steal their identity. When Kelly and I were in the bathroom, I remember her saying that, you know, she had had a lot of problems with her bank account. She also said that in the car - that she had had problems with her bank account due to Melissa. They tried to look on our computer for information on their credit card and bank account and they couldn't remember the passwords because they said that they had to change them so many times.
Q: Did Craig every say anything in front of you as to what might have happened to Melissa, whether it be she disappeared or overdosed or anything like that?
A: He, I remember him using the word overdose.
Q: Did you remember in what context he used that?
A: Uhm -
Q: If you don't that okay.
A: Not exactly.
Q: Okay. Where do you all sleep that night?
A: I slept in my bedroom and Craig and Kelly did not want to be alone so they slept, they were like very paranoid, they slept on the floor in my room. I offered them the bed and they refused.
Q: I'm sorry - you offered them ---
A: I offered them the bed. I said, you know, you can sleep on the bed, it's not a problem. And they refused. And Ryan, Ryan is on a different schedule because he works in a night club so I believe he was watching a movie that he downloaded on the computer out in that little hallway room.
Q: So Ryan stays up later than everyone else?
Q: At some point after you get Chinese food and before you go to bed, do you leave the house again by yourself?
A: I did.
Q: Where did you go?
A: I went to, I think it's Albertsons around the corner, Albertson's grocery store.
Q: Why did you go there?
A: To get Joey crackers because he didn't have any food. I really just kind of wanted to leave.
Q: Why is that?
A: I didn't feel comfortable and even though there were other people there I felt really alone so I just wanted to go do something else.
Q: At any time during the evening did you hear Craig say anything about Melissa falling down the stairs?
Q: What happened the next morning?
A: After I work up, they, Craig and Kelly were, you know, on their phones making plans about where they were going to go, what they were going to do. I believe Craig called his attorney. I believe he called a friend who refused him to stay with them and he was upset about that.
Q: Did they ask you whether or not they could stay at your house another night?
Q: What was your goal that morning as far as Craig and Kelly goes?
A: I wanted to get them out of my house.
Q: Did they eventually leave the house>
A: Yes. They asked if we could take them to, I think, La Quinta.
Q: And did you actually drive them to La Quinta.
Q: Where is the La Quinta locataed?
A: On Sahara. I'm not sure which side. I believe west, West Sahara.
Q: Were you able to get a room for them at the La Quinta?
A: No. They required a credit card and Ryan wasn't going to put it on his credit card.
Q: Did Craig have any request for how the room be rented.
A: He wasn't going to put the room in his name.
Q: Did he ask Ryan to rent the room for him.
Q: Did you eventually find a hotel that would accept cash.
A: Holiday Inn. I believe it was a Holiday Inn Express. It was close by.
Q: Also on Sahara.
Q: Who rented that room?
A: Ryan did.
Q: Did he go in by himself or did you all go in?
A: Yes, he went in by himself. The three of us stayed in the car.
Q: What was said while you were in the car, the three of you, you and Craig and Kelly?
A: Craig was upset that Ryan, you know, wouldn't put the place on the credit card for him at La Quinta, that he was hesitant, that he seemed - Craig was upset that Ryan seemed reluctant to be involved. He said, he turned to Kelly and he said "you know I'm just not like that, I'm not like that with friends. I'll go all out,. it doesn't matter who they are or what happened." I immediately said "Well, you have to understand his position. He doesn't even know what he's involved with here and you're involving him by saying that you need him to get you a room and of course that's going to put him in a bad position especially because he doesn't even really have an understanding of what's going on."
Q: Did Craig and Kelly talk about - whether or not they could return to their home?
A: They said that they were going to have to stop by or get someone to stop by to gather up some of their things, but that obviously they would not be able to stay there.
Q: Do you recall how Craig and Kelly got you your house on the 15th in the first place?
A: No. There was no car. They just showed up knocking on the door. I assume that someone dropped them off.
Q: They did not have a vehicle?
Q: Did they have any bags or luggage with them?
A: Yes, they had Joey's bag, they had some kind of overnight bag and a purse.
Q: Did you, after you said goodbye to Craig and Kelly, did you and Ryan talk about what Craig would have said to Ryan while you were at the store?
A: Yes, we did talk about it.
Q: Did you ever talk to Kelly Ryan after that day?
A: I talked to Kelly again that day. I called her around five or 5:30 in the afternoon.
Q: Why did you call her?
A: Uhm, this is going to sound horrible but honestly curiosity, to see how she was doing and what was going on. I was honestly concerned for her because I cared about her.
Q: Did she explain anything else to you that night on the phone?
Q: Have you talked to her since that phone, that last phone call on the 15th?