SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been nearly three years since anyone has seen 27-year-old Courtney Holden. Those who knew Courtney say she was a loving, devoted mother and never would have left her young son voluntarily. Friends tell KHQ they believe she was murdered. There has not been a credible sighting of Courtney since the summer of 2018.
The father of Courtney’s son, Michael Dowd, told KHQ on Tuesday that he too believes Courtney is deceased.
“I don’t think this was an accident or anything like that,” he said. “I think it’s a strong possibility she was murdered. She wouldn’t ever disappear and leave (our) son.”
Officers arrested Courtney's adoptive brother and mother several months ago, but not for anything directly related to Courtney’s disappearance. Josh Holden, 41, and Judy Holden, 75, traveled to Texas with Courtney’s son. They were taken into custody in Texas before being extradited back to Spokane last year. Josh and Judy Holden were facing identity theft charges for allegedly stealing Courtney's identity for money, as well as a charge of custodial interference for taking the child. Dowd says he traveled down to Texas upon their arrest to get his son and bring him back to Washington.
Dowd and Courtney Holden had not been together for years leading up to the time she disappeared, but he remained active in their son’s life. He says he has been working overtime for the past several months to get their child back into a healthy place both mentally and physically. He says the fact that Courtney has not been in contact with their son is what makes him so certain she is dead.
“She was a good mom,” he said. “She’d never just leave him.”
The legal proceedings against Josh and Judy Holden have been resolved. Judy Holden was in court this month. Documents show she plead guilty to second-degree custodial interference-domestic violence. She is no longer in police custody.
Earlier this year, Josh Holden also entered a guilty plea to the same custodial interference DV charge, as well as a charge of criminal mischief. He was sentenced to 135 days in jail for each count, with credit for time served. He is no longer listed as an inmate on the Spokane County Jail roster.
Spokane Police continue to plead with anyone with information on Courtney Holden’s disappearance to come forward. They told KHQ they were hopeful perhaps this story could generate new leads and tips on the case that has seemingly gone cold. While those who knew Courtney believe this is a homicide case, it is still classified as a missing person’s investigation.
For the past several months, detectives have had time working against them. It took more than a year for them to even learn that Courtney Holden had disappeared. It was Dowd’s new girlfriend who finally asked police to check on her. Once officers did back in October of 2019, this case was quickly turned over to the major crimes unit.
Detectives spent months interviewing witnesses trying to determine what exactly went on in the Holden home, located on East Heroy near Rogers High School. There has not been a credible sighting of Courtney in nearly three years.
Court records associated with the case point to a pattern of alleged abuse. Witnesses told detectives they saw Courtney with bruises. Detectives wrote in their paperwork that witnesses described Josh as controlling, angry and erratic.
One witness even told police she saw Josh Holden carry Courtney, a fraction of his size, back into their home when she tried to escape.
If you have any information about what happened to Courtney Holden, please call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 and reference 2019-20191912.