BOULDER, Colo. — Police have an alleged killer in cuffs, and new documents detail exactly how police caught up to him.
February proved a difficult month to handle for police in Boulder County after a mother who lived in an apartment there went missing, along with her 13-month-old child.
Officers called out for help from the public, and people across the country shared the story of Ashley Mead thousands of times. Police located the baby alive, but confirmed Mead died some time in February.
It didn't take long for police to catch up to Adam Densmore, who fathered Mead's child. It took less time to charge him with murder.
Now that Densmore is back in Boulder County, police have released documents detailing how police came to learn Mead was murdered, and why they believe the father of her child committed the crime.
Concerned coworkers of Mead tipped off the investigation when they called police to check in on the young woman, who moved to Colorado from Louisiana.
When police got to her apartment, they found few signs of disturbance, but found the apartment in a suspicious state. The door wasn't locked, food was in the oven and identification and a cell phone were left behind.
In addition to that evidence, police say they located a baseball bat on the ground.
Neighbors said they could tell based on the habits of Mead that she hadn't been around, but they informed detectives that Mead and Densmore did live together, although their relationship had effectively ended.
Police learned Densmore did not appear on the birth certificate of the 13-month-old, and at various times went between wanting to and not wanting to be the father of the child.
Investigation led police to conclude the last time Mead had been seen was on Sunday, Feb. 12. They learned that night, Densmore had called his father in Louisiana to ask for a place to crash, as he and Mead had gotten into a fight.
Police interviewed Densmore's father, learning Densmore told his dad that he "did something stupid." The man's father said he believed his son was referring to taking the 13-month-old, leading police to learn the 13-month-old was at least healthy when Densmore was in Louisiana.
Densmore allegedly left his dad's home on Tuesday evening, telling his father that he planned to head back to Colorado.
Police eventually came to make phone contact with Densmore, and in multiple conversations with the man, they were able to track his phone to Oklahoma.
During those conversations, Densmore allegedly told police that Mead had been alive when he left the apartment after a catastrophic argument between the two.
That's when detectives say Densmore told them he told Ashley he hated her and hoped she would die. He allegedly told police he meant it, but did regret saying it.
As police obtained tracking data, they called for mutual assistance from authorities in Oklahoma. Police there were able to track him down on the road, arresting him on a custody violation.
From there, police were able to secure the 13-month-old and place her in protective custody.
Detectives began poring through where Densmore traveled in Oklahoma, learning he stopped at a Walmart in Okmulgee. After poring through security footage, police saw a person they identified as Densmore enter the Walmart, but also drive to a nearby gas station's dumpster and open the lid.
Inside that dumpster, police say employees found a suitcase with a black garbage bag inside. A coroner confirmed that bag held the torso of Mead,with head, hands and organs removed, confirming she had been dismembered.
With Densmore in custody and a body undergoing autopsy, police were able to retrace their steps. They explain they found signs of struggle on Densmore in the form of a bite mark on his arm.
In the home of his father, police say they learned he had used an "overwhelming" amount of bleach in the bathroom. In Mead's apartment, they found several sites where blood appeared to be cleaned up in the bathroom, but potentially not cleaned with bleach.
A check of Densmore's criminal history revealed the man has no arrests in Colorado, but does have a domestic violence arrest in Louisiana for allegedly choking his ex-wife, along with a DUI arrest in 2010 and a probation violation in 2011. A charge of disturbing the peace in 2013 caps off his arrest record.
Police say they also contacted the friends of Mead, learning she told her friends Densmore is an alcoholic, even sending a friend a text saying, "I hate him on all levels."
Police learned she began dating a new person and had told Densmore one week prior to her killing.
After compiling all available evidence, police explained they had probable cause to charge Adam Densmore with first-degree murder and domestic violence.
Police sealed other records to protect an investigation that is continuing. Officers say they haven't yet recovered the rest of Mead's body, which they believe could be anywhere from Colorado to Oklahoma and could be in a purple suitcase.
Learn more about the search for the suitcase and how you can help here.