Young woman furious after Fort Lupton Police lost key evidence in sex crime case
WELD COUNTY, Colo. – A young woman is furious after Fort Lupton Police loses the evidence in a sex crime case.
The missing key piece of evidence is the video allegedly showing the crime of a teenage employee being watched while she went to the bathroom.
The Weld County District attorney refused to talk to FOX31 Denver about the lost evidence and dropping the charges against the alleged perpetrator, David Maddox. However, the girl in the video and the woman who found it has plenty to say about Fort Lupton police, David Maddox and the suspect’s effort to make the case disappear forever.
20-year-old Brooke Vasquez has the most obvious question to the most disturbing circumstance. “How do you lose evidence? You’re not supposed to take that outside of the building, I don’t understand what could happen with that.”
Three years ago she was working at Little Ceasars Pizza in Fort Lupton, a 17-year-old girl who had no idea she had been videotaped while using the employee restroom. Vasquez said, “You can clearly tell it was me in the video because of the rosary tattoo that I have and you couldn’t see my face, but you can tell it was me.”
Tracy Enney is Brooke’s former manager at Little Ceasars. Last year, while going through the work computer she discovered a video file she says only one person could have downloaded, her brother-in-law David Maddox, who is also the owner of the Little Ceasars Pizza.
“There’s a male arm in the video and the only person that would have access to download any type of video on our work computers would be the other owner, “ said Enney who added she heard Maddox’s voice on the video.
Enney made a copy of the video and gave it to Fort Lupton Police, who arrested Maddox last June for invasion of privacy and exploitation of a minor.
Detectives took photos of Maddox’s arms and hand to compare to still shots of the video where a man’s arm is seen by the toilet.
According to Fort Lupton police reports, Maddox admitted deleting four videos from the memory of his work computer before detectives were able to do a forensic examination of the computer hard drive.
A few months later a detective called Tracy Enney. “Asked me if I had another copy of the video and I asked her why and she said well we can’t seem to find it,” said an incredulous Enney.
Brooke Vasquez said no one called her to say the video had been lost. She found out at a court hearing.
“It seems like they don’t care, they’re not sorry,” said Vasquez.
A court document dated October 14 reads “Fort Lupton Police Department still trying to find video.” A few weeks later, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke dismissed the case though he declined to discuss why with FOX31 Denver.
Fort Lupton’s Police Chief Kenneth Poncelow also declined our repeated attempts for an interview, but eventually released a statement that reads: “The Fort Lupton police department conducted an internal investigation and has modified its procedures as a result of the unfortunate circumstances in this case.”
Brooke Vasquez got a different response when she went looking for answers. “I talked to one of their sergeants and he denied me to speak to the chief saying he would tell him himself and he was smiling at me when he was telling me, well we’re so sorry and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
We went looking for David Maddox at Little Ceasars, where an employee put him on the phone.
FOX31 Denver asked Maddox, “Why was there a camera secretly recording Brooke Vasquez in the employee bathroom?” Maddox responded, “I have no clue.”
We continued to ask him, “Why did you erase the hard drive off of your computer?” Maddox’s response, “I didn’t, you need to talk to my attorney,” before hanging up.
Maddox refused an on-camera interview, but later sent a statement that says in part, “Evidence clearly demonstrates that someone other than me shot the video footage at issue when I was out of town, and could not have done so. These facts were confirmed by law enforcement investigators.”
Except Fort Lupton police don’t confirm that to FOX31 Denver, however, that hasn’t stopped David Maddox from filing a motion to seal the case and make his arrest disappear.
Tracy Enney understands why Maddox would want all this to go away, “Of course why would you not want it sealed, it never existed right? It never happened right?”
As for Brooke Vasquez, she still wants justice. “It makes me upset a lot especially as a woman trying to become a police officer. I’ve seen the other side of it and that’s why I wanted to be a cop and this makes me embarrassed to be a part of that system because of people like Fort Lupton police department. When I become a police officer I won’t let that happen.”
Maddox’s motion to seal the case will be heard in a Weld County Courtroom on Friday February 26.
His defense attorney insisted to FOX31 Denver that Maddox had an alibi.
Attorney Kyle Sawyer said he had five people willing to testify Maddox was out of town celebrating his anniversary on the day the video was time stamped.