One year investigation ends with arrest for double-murder - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

One year investigation ends with arrest for double-murder

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FRENCHTOWN -

Law enforcement has arrested Caressa Hardy for 2013 murders of Thomas Korjack and Robert Orozco. A witness who was close to Hardy came forward with details in 2016. On August 1, police had enough evidence to move forward. 

The following comes from the affidavit:

CORROBORATIONS & MOTIVE

Detectives conducted an exhaustive investigation, which included having several Investigative Subpoenas and Search Warrants issued to obtain documentary and forensic evidence. Facts they learned through the investigation have corroborated Witness A’s account of the homicides and include in part:

Pond Road residence. 

The residence at 19500 Pond Road, where Defendant lives with Child A, has been in Defendant’s name since 2012. The property is a 1998 double wide mobile home on a basement totaling approximately 4,104 square feet and covers 10.17 acres. 4. Until late March 2013, residents included Defendant, Witness A, Korjack, Orozco and both children. Investigative efforts have been unable to locate Thomas Korjack or Robert Orozco or to verify any current physical addresses for either victim since March 2013.

Korjack and Defendant’s banking and spending patterns.

Det. Cochran and Det. Kedie analyzed Thomas Korjack’s bank accounts subpoenaed in this case and determined that Thomas Korjack withdrew large amounts of cash leading up to the void in banking activity beginning after March 2013. All activity except pre-arranged automatic transfers, dormancy fees or interest payments stopped after March 2013. Det. Kedie was able to identify a substantial amount of money (cumulatively in excess of approximately $200,000.00) still located in bank accounts owned by Thomas Korjack.

Witness A, who reported the homicides, told Det. Cochran that leading up to the homicides, Thomas Korjack was conducting a lot of banking and was keeping large amounts of cash, precious metals and valuables in a safe that was in the basement of 19500 Pond Road. Within days of the killings, Defendant broke into the safe.

Det. Cochran and Det. Kedie analyzed the banking records and determined that Defendant started to make large cash deposits following Thomas Korjack’s void in banking activity. Defendant’s spending patterns since the date of Korjack and Orozco’s disappearance show multiple purchases from an anti-government, anti-law enforcement website, as well as multiple purchases of ammunition, ballistic armor, surveillance cameras, and night vision equipment. Additionally, in the months following the disappearances, Defendant is known to have rented various pieces of heavy earth-moving equipment, and analysis of Google Earth timeline images of the property at 19500 Pond Road show that various additional structures have been built on the property since the date of the disappearances.

Defendant’s credit report shows many delinquent bills which have been sent to collection, including medicals bills, child support, and automotive bills. Defendant does not apparently have any open lines of credit.

Korjack’s post office box used by Defendant.

Det. Cochran located a Post Office Box where mail addressed to Thomas Korjack and Robert Orozco has been delivered. Det. Cochran was able to observe Defendant collecting mail from the box. No other persons were observed collecting mail. Through mail delivered to this location, Det. Cochran identified bank accounts currently held by Thomas Korjack at First Security Bank, Treasure State Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank.

On July 25, 2016, a First Security Bank debit card and a first-class flat of ordered checks from First Security Bank were delivered to the P.O. Box, addressed to Thomas Korjack. On August 20, 2016, Defendant personally picked up these items and others from the box.

On August 29, 2016, two checks were written on accounts held by Thomas Korjack to the US Postal Service. The checks were payment for the PO Box renewal. One check was from First Security Bank and the second check was on a Trails West Bank checking account; both checks were typed and not handwritten. It appeared that an actual typewriter was utilized, given the font and a spelling accident/type-over on the First Security Check. The checks were for ½ payment of the annual $70.00 USPS PO Box fee. Both purportedly bear Korjack’s signature. The signatures appear identical, and appear to be stamped or reproduced in some similar fashion.

Neither victim has submitted a change of address from the address at Pond Road.

Korjack’s Glacier/Community/First Security Bank account & Korjack’s passport and Defendant on video at Walmart.

On August 2, 2016, Detective Cochran subpoenaed Thomas Korjack’s First Security Bank account information. Bank records did not indicate there had been any use of the account by Thomas Korjack since its inception on March 25, 2013. Additionally, in March of 2014 the bank started to assess a monthly dormant account fee to the account. As of the last statement obtained under subpoena, this account shows a standing balance in excess of $3,000.00.

On September 29, 2016, Russell Hughes, Vice President of Operations at First Security Bank, contacted Det. Cochran and indicated that there had been recent activity on Thomas Korjack’s account which Det. Cochran had previously subpoenaed.

On October 5, 2016, Det. Cochran subpoenaed Thomas Korjack’s most current First Security Bank records and located a string of debit card transactions on the account, for purchases made at local merchants, including Missoula Walmart. Det. Cochran also discovered that numerous checks were being written against Thomas Korjack’s Trails West Bank checking account; the checks were deposited into Korjack’s First Security Bank account. Per Det. Cochran’s investigation, these checks appear to be to cover the debit card purchases made against that account. All the checks and accompanying deposit slips were typed in a similar font as the checks to the U.S. Post Office, and the signatures on the checks appear very similar if not identical. The signatures are so similar that it is unlikely they were not stamped or reproduced in a similar fashion.

Det. Cochran contacted Missoula Walmart and obtained surveillance footage of the person using Thomas Korjack’s First Security Bank debit card in that store. Det. Cochran was able to personally identify Defendant as the person using the debit card; Defendant was also having a vehicle serviced in the Walmart tire center at the time some of the purchases were made.

On October 18, 2016, First Security Bank VP of Operations Russell Hughes deactivated Thomas Korjack’s debit card and left a phone message at the number listed on the bank account, requesting that Thomas Korjack come in to the bank and update his account information and identification. On October 20, 2016, a male (not Thomas Korjack) came to the drive up teller window and provided the actual original passport of Thomas Korjack. The male told the teller that he was doing banking for his “uncle” and indicated that the information provided needed to be forwarded to Russell Hughes. Russell Hughes said that the teller made a copy of the passport and returned the actual passport to the male. There was no surveillance video at the drive-up window selected by the male.

Korjack’s Treasure State Bank account.

On August 24, 2016, Det. Cochran subpoenaed Thomas Korjack’s bank records from Treasure State Bank. Bank records did not reveal any activity on the account since March of 2013. On March 26, 2013, Thomas Korjack obtained a cashier’s check against this account in the amount of $123,000.00 and according to bank records, this cashier’s check has never been deposited or cashed and is still outstanding as of September 9, 2016.

Korjack’s Trail West Back account and the Jeep Compass in Defendant’s possession

Thomas Korjack had a 2012 Jeep Compass registered to him in Montana in 2012; the Chrysler Group LLC Dealer Invoice associated to the Jeep describes the factory color as “Rescue Green Metallic”. From time of purchase until early March 2013, Korjack made payments on the vehicle via manually scheduled internet transfers from his Wells Fargo account. After the March 2013 payment, the account went delinquent. However, there was one additional back-payment made in June 2013; this payment was made using a check drawn against Korjack’s Trail West Bank account. This check is typed in an identical type-face to the previously noted checks which were later deposited into Korjack’s First Security Bank account. The check bears a signature which exactly matches Korjack’s signature from a Treasure State Bank deposit slip dated March 19, 2013; this signature also appears to have been replicated and applied with a stamp of some type, though it differs from the identical signatures on the aforementioned checks later deposited into Korjack’s First Security Bank account.

The vehicle’s registration expired in 2013, and investigative efforts failed to locate the vehicle registered in any state to any person thereafter. Det. Cochran obtained a Montana District Court investigative subpoena for TD Auto Finance, the company through whom Thomas Korjack had financed the purchase of the Jeep. TD Auto Finance records indicate that Korjack became delinquent on his monthly payments after early March 2013, and that after the one make-up payment received in June 2013, all the lienholder’s subsequent efforts to locate the vehicle, contact Korjack, obtain payment, or secure repossession were unsuccessful.

On May 27, 2017, while responding to the residence at 19500 Pond Road regarding a separate unrelated call for service from Defendant, Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy Forest Merrill observed a green Jeep parked next to a freestanding garage to the northeast of the main residence. 

Neither the building nor the Jeep was visible from Pond Road. The Jeep did not have license plates and the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the dash was covered. Deputy Merrill photographed the Jeep. Cochran and Kedie observed that the Jeep is consistent in every way with the body features and style of a 2012 Jeep Compass. They also observed that the color of the Jeep photographed by Deputy Merrill appears to be identical to known samples of the factory “Rescue Green Metallic” color. Defendant told Deputy Merrill that the Jeep belonged to his “uncle”, the same terminology used by the unknown male who presented Korjack’s passport at First Security Bank.

Korjack’s Wells Fargo accounts & AAA Mountain West Insurance account

Det. Cochran and Det. Kedie analyzed Thomas Korjack’s Wells Fargo Bank records and located a bank card purchase to AAA Insurance, utilizing a bank card that had not been previously used on the account to pay for purchases. The payment to AAA was one of three abnormal purchases and the last activities on the account before the account went inactive. Reviewing records obtained from AAA, the purchase occurred on March 29, 2013 and was payment for an auto insurance policy in the name of Caressa Hardy.

Korjack’s American Express account

Korjack regularly used this card for travel, business and household expenditures and paid off the balance monthly, with no notable breaks or delinquencies un usage prior to March 2013. However, after that time, the past purchases made on the card were both on March 29, 2013 at Costco. After that, the past due amount carried forward and there was no additional activity on the card after that date, either charges or payments. The account continues to accumulate delinquent finance charges.
Korjack’s phone pattern

Det. Sgt. White analyzed Thomas Korjack’s phone records serviced by Ymax Communication Corporation, Magic Jack LP. Sgt. White located phones calls to and from Thomas Korjack’s number and a number identified as belonging to Defendant leading up to the March 2016 time period. Sgt. White determined that after March 26, 2013 no additional calls were made between the numbers. Additionally, all outgoing calls from Thomas Korjack’s number ceased to date. The only activity on the account was incoming calls; the majority of the incoming calls have been identified as belonging to creditors.

Korjack’s professional licenses.

The Delaware Board of Architects and Association of Professional Engineers had records that Korjack had applied for an engineer’s license in Delaware by submitting an application. According to their records, Korjack had not completed the process so they closed out the application on July 22, 2013.

According to the Wyoming Board of Registration for Licenses and Certifications, Korjack held an engineer’s license beginning December 8, 2003 and it was last renewed October 5, 2011. The license expired December 31, 2013 after not being renewed.

According to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office, Korjack’s filed for a corporation called Kory’s Consulting on July 1, 2011 and the corporation filing was not renewed and it expired on July 1, 2016.

Orozco’s family

Detective Cochran contacted Robert Orozco’s mother. Robert Orozco’s mother reported having no contact with Robert Orozco for approximately three years. Investigators contacted Robert Orozco’s father who also reported not having any contact with Robert Orozco for several years, even though he had previously been in contact with Robert Orozco approximately every month prior to the void in contact.

Orozco’s financial patterns, Credit reports and CSED

According to Orozco’s credit report, he had several delinquent account to include utilities, medical bills and child support and no open lines of credit. Neither Montana nor Arizona Child Support was ever able to make contact with him.
Victims’ lack of travel and no contact with law enforcement.

Neither victim has had any criminal arrests or law enforcement contacts since 2013. Det. Cochran and Det. Kedie analyzed Thomas Korjack’s credit card statements. After March of 2013, Thomas Korjack did not make any further purchases, and the current balances went unpaid and began to accrue finance charges. Additionally, in analyzing Thomas Korjack’s bank and credit card purchase history, investigators noted the absence of any expenditures or spending behavior that would be indicative of domestic or foreign travel outside of his normal activity.

According to Canadian authorities, neither victim had traveled across the border into Canada.

Federal agencies

Federal agencies including the IRS and Social Security Administration reported that neither victim filed tax returns in 2014 and 2015 and neither victim receives any social security benefit even though Korjack qualifies by virtue of his age.

SEARCH OF RESIDENCE & PROPERTY

On July 31, detectives began executing a search warrant of Defendant’s residence and property and took Defendant into custody. During that search, detectives further corroborated Witness A’s account. They located:

• Child A who was present and taken into protective care
• Large burn piles
• A typewriter
• A signature stamp purportedly bearing the signature of Korjack
• The remains of bedsprings from one or more mattresses in one of the burn piles
• Korjack’s Jeep, which had been moved and concealed in the back of the property
• Multiple firearms, including handguns and semi-automatic weapons
• Windows screwed and/or nailed shut so that they could not be opened
• New flooring, windows and drywall in the room where the victims were killed
• Beneath the new drywall, an intact bullet lodged in the cement wall directly behind where the victims were shot
• Old drywall with holes and pink paint outside on a deck
• Reinforced doors with the locks reversed in almost every room
• A safe similar to the one described by Witness A.
 

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