MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of a Minnesota mother who disappeared faces another emotional hurdle.
Addie Jensen, 25, vanished last fall. Her ex-boyfriend would later admit to dismembering her in Minneapolis, but investigators never proved that Josh Dow killed her.
Now, he wants joint custody of the couple’s three-year-old daughter. Jensen’s family shared their anguish, and what they’d like to see happen to their granddaughter.
“There are times Chloe will do something and I can see Addie in her,” Cinda Jensen, Addie’s mom, said.
It is in those moments that bring David and Cinda Jensen happiness, despite their unbearable sorrow.
“I think about Chloe not growing up with her mother and when I think about how being a mother was the most important thing to Addie and how it brought her so much joy it just, it just hits me,” Cinda Jensen said.
Early on the Jensen’s worried about Addie’s relationship with Chloe’s dad, Josh Dow.
“We had a tough situation where we wanted to love the person that your daughter loved and yet you could see it was really a rocky relationship,” Cinda Jensen said.
The Jensen’s said there were break-ups and make-ups in the couples seven years together. Just weeks before Addie’s death, she left Dow, and she and Chloe moved in with her parents. And then one November night in 2015, Addie didn’t come home.
“I just had a feeling that something was wrong,” David Jensen said.
The Jensen’s said Dow told them Addie walked away after a night downtown, and he was worried about her.
“We made flyers and went downtown with the fliers we called the morgues, we called the hospitals and so essentially we’re searching for five days trying to figure out where she was,” David Jensen said.
And that’s when they received a call from police.
“He just said, ‘we have reason to believe your daughter is no longer alive,’ and I just screamed and just fell to the floor,” Cinda Jensen said.
Dow’s brother had contacted police.
“And told them that Addie was dead, that she was shot and that he had helped Josh move the body,” David Jensen said.
“He admitted to cutting up our daughter’s body,” Cinda Jensen said, “and throwing her in the garbage,” said David Jensen.
WCCO was there as police carried out bags of evidence from Josh Dow’s house in north Minneapolis in late November. To this day Addie’s body has not been found.
“When we look at these cases we look, do we really believe he did it, and we do, do we have the evidence to prove it, no,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
Dow pleaded guilty in late March to interfering with a dead body, and the sale of drugs. Dow admitted he “dismembered” Addie and he took quote, “the parts, and put them in the garbage in Minneapolis in different garbage cans.”
He testified he did it to hide the evidence so his daughter wouldn’t know that her mom killed herself.
Freeman said Dow was sentenced to 8 years in prison. In order to charge Dow with murder, Freeman said he would need “a body, an eye witness, DNA, some more evidence.”
Dow wants joint custody of Chloe. Freeman acknowledges family court usually favors the parent.
“That preference goes out the window if you have someone who’s committed this kind of crime,” Freeman said,
Still, it’s what keeps the Jensen’s up at night. They want to adopt Chloe. And they can’t move forward unless Dow terminates his parental rights.
“I don’t know how I can hand our granddaughter over to the man who cut up and threw her mother away. How can you let him have parenting time for what he did,” David Jensen said.
They want to introduce Chloe to the things her mother loved: camping, and animals, and surrounded by family.
“We will not let this define her. We will not let this define her. For us right now it’s about raising a loving, kind, giving and faithful child,” Cinda Jensen said.
The law firm Robins Kaplan took the Jensen’s case pro bono. Today the team filed this petition to terminate Dow’s parental rights so the Jensen’s can adopt Chloe.
If Dow opposes, the case will go to trial later this summer. The Jensen’s and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office ask if anyone knows something about Addie’s death to come forward.
The law firm has set up an email for people to send tips: JusticeForAddie@gmail.com.