A Montana newlywed accused of pushing her husband from a cliff to his death told Glacier National Park rangers where the body was, believing that having the search called off would keep police out of the case, according to newly unsealed court documents.
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Prosecutors allege Jordan Graham, 22, pushed her Cody Johnson, 25, face first off a cliff July 7, eight days after their wedding. Graham is charged with murder and making a false statement. She has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail.
Investigators say Graham tried to cover up the crime in the days after Johnson was killed by telling authorities he disappeared after going on a joyride with friends.
With Graham's murder trial set to begin Dec. 9, federal prosecutors are busy building their case against her. The documents were unsealed by a judge's order last week and one of Graham's friends told investigators she went back to the park to search for Johnson's body herself days after he died.
The young bride told her friend, "I don't care if they question me. I want the body found and the cops out of it," according to court documents.
"In her mind she's believing if she can get the police out of the case, in other words the body's found it's determined an accident, case is closed, she's home," former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett said.
The records also describe an email addressed to Graham from someone named "Tony." The email urged an end to the police search on July 10, three days after Johnson had died.
"Cody got out of the car and went for a little hike and they are positive he fell and he is dead, Jordan. I don't know who the guys were but they took off. So call off the missing person report. Cody is gone for sure," the email stated.
Investigators say the email was part of Graham's fraud and it was later traced to an account using a computer registered to the bride's father.
Graham's attorney says Johnson fell by accident during an argument with her that got physical.
8 Days After Wedding Bells
Graham told FBI agents that she and Johnson were arguing on July 7 while walking in Glacier National Park near their home in Kalispell, Mont., when he grabbed her arm, according to an affidavit.
"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," the affidavit claims she admitted to investigators.
Charging documents in the case revealed that Graham told a friend that she was having second thoughts about the marriage, and that she said that she wanted to talk about her issues with Johnson the night he died.
Johnson was reported missing on July 8, after he failed to show up at work.
When interviewed by authorities the following day on July 9, Graham claimed that she saw "a dark-colored car pulling out of the driveway" after receiving a text from her husband saying he was heading out with a friend from out of town, according to the affidavit.
Graham reported the discovery of Johnson's body to a park ranger on July 11, according to the affidavit. When the park ranger commented that it was unusual that she was the one to make the discovery, Graham allegedly said, "It was a place he wanted to see before he died."
Police had to use a helicopter to retrieve Johnson's body from the steep cliffs below the park's Loop Trail. His body was recovered on July 12.
When interviewed by authorities on July 18, Graham admitted that she had lied about the death of her husband and provided false statements.