Montana newlywed, 22-year-old Jordan Linn Graham (also known as Jo-Jo) is accused of pushing her husband, 25-year-old Cody Lee Johnson, to his death over a cliff in Glacier National Park. Investigators believe that she pushed her husband because she was having “second thoughts” about her marriage.
According to the affidavit, the following is Graham’s first version of events about the day of her husband’s disappearance:
“After attending dinner with friends, they drove home. During the drive home, Johnson received a cell phone call that caused him to be upset. When she and Johnson arrived at their home at approximately 2145 hours, she realized her phone was going dead and needed to be charged. Graham then drove by herself from her home to another location to collect her phone charger. Graham said that while she was retrieving her cell phone charger… she received a cellular text message from Johnson’s phone saying he was going for a drive with a friend from out of town. When Graham arrived back at the house she advised she saw a dark colored car pulling out of the driveway. Graham stated she is sure Johnson was in the dark car. In a subsequent interview, Graham advised she and Johnson routinely delete their text messages, and she was unable to produce the above-referenced text for viewing.”
A friend interviewed by law enforcement said that Graham was having second thoughts about her new marriage. Graham had informed the friend that she wanted to discuss her second thoughts with her husband. On the day that he met his untimely death, Graham sent the friend a text message stating “oh well, I’m about to talk to him.” The friend responded “I’ll pray for you guys.” Graham responded “But dead serious if you don’t hear from me at all again tonight, something happened.”
The body of Graham’s husband was found on July 11, 2013, four days after he was pushed from the cliff. Graham was the “reporting party” who informed the Ranger that she located a dead body.
The Ranger commented to Graham that he thought it was unusual that she had found the body to which she replied “it was a place he wanted to see before he died… He would come up here with friends to drive fast when his friends were visiting from out of state.”
A close friend of the couple, A.H., was also interviewed by law enforcement. A.H. was at church with Graham on July 10, 2013. Graham told A.H. that she had received an email stating that her husband had left with three friends, went hiking, had fallen, was dead, and that the search should be called off. The email allegedly was sent from a man named “Tony.”
At this point, it is not clear who Tony is and what his involvement is with the case.
Graham, after a series of lies, eventually admitted to pushing her husband from the cliff.
According to the affidavit, on July 16, investigators reported that:
“Graham stated on the evening of July 7, 2013, she and Johnson had an argument, were upset and both had decided to travel to Glacier National Park… Once there, they walked on The Loop hiking trail for a while and were arguing. They then walked to the other side of the trail to an area that was very steep and proceeded down the rocks near a stump. Graham stated their argument intensified. At one point in time during their arguing, Graham turned and began to walk away. She stated Johnson grabbed her by the arm. Graham turned and removed Johnson’s hand from her arm. After removing Johnson’s hand from her arm, Graham stated she could have just walked away, but due to her anger, she pushed Johnson with both hands in the back and as a result he fell face first off the cliff.”
Graham is charged with second-degree murder. She was recently released from custody as she awaits her trial. If convicted, she could be sentenced to life in prison.
Songwriter Elisabeth Shea was hired to write a custom song for the couple’s wedding. After meeting with them several times, she came up with these lyrics:
“you helped me to climb higher for a better view, you’re my safe place to fall, you never let me go.”
Thinking back on those works, Ms. Shea thinks “it’s a little creepy” and perhaps prophetic.