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Homicide investigation leads police to serve MySpace warrant

Wed., Jan. 9, 2008

A profile could hold clues to an unsolved November drive-by homicide, and Spokane police want the popular social networking Web site to reveal the identity of the profile’s creator.

Police served a search warrant for Merinda N. Glowen’s MySpace account three days after the Nov. 12 shooting. According to the search warrant, they were acting on a tip from a 16-year-old friend of one of the witnesses, who said that Glowen boasted of committing a “murder mission” in a MySpace message posted just hours after the shooting death of 30-year-old Daniel J. Burgess.

Burgess died after he was shot in the chest. The fatal bullet was fired through a window at 2413 N. Dakota St. about 9:50 p.m. Police have said they don’t believe he was the intended target.

Through Glowen’s MySpace account, police found messages exchanged with an unknown MySpace user that contained details about the shooting, including discussion about of the unknown user supplying the gun. Police filed another search warrant last week asking MySpace to reveal the identity of that user and turn over the user’s private messages as well as Internet Protocol addresses and date stamps for account accesses.

“It is strongly believed the unknown subject has knowledge as to the identity of the shooting suspect(s), how the suspect(s) obtained the gun, the possible whereabouts of the gun and also the reason for the shooting,” according to the search warrant prepared by Spokane police major crimes Detective Terry Ferguson. routinely responds to requests from law enforcement for help with unsolved crimes, according to its Web site.

The warrant includes a statement from Kelly S. Johnston, one of eight others in the house at the time of Burgess’ killing, that he had tried to sell Glowen 5 ½ ounces of marijuana months earlier but that Glowen had taken the drugs without paying.

Johnston told police he saw Glowen enter a Dalton Avenue home after the alleged robbery. After the shooting, police spotted a 1996 white Ford Thunderbird at the Dalton home that matched the description of a Thunderbird witnesses said had driven past the home where the killing occurred twice about 20 minutes before the shooting.

Johnston also told police of an e-mail his 16-year-old friend received from Glowen about 90 minutes after the shooting, mentioning the theft and warning the 16-year-old to stay away from Glowen and her friends.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Glowen said she had “absolutely no idea” who the unknown user is and said she doesn’t know why police would be interested in her MySpace page.

“This is all new to me,” she said.

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