As Minnesota murder investigators finally retrieve from a landfill what they believe are the dismembered remains of 19-year-old Dystynee Avery, her former boyfriend has given an emotional interview in which he chronicles the sprawling network of love triangles and betrayals that appear to have led to the young woman’s shocking and brutal murder, WDAY Fargo reports.
The ex-boyfriend, Joshua Clabough, joined Dystynee Avery’s mother and sister in expressing a thirst for vengeance against those involved in taking the young woman’s life. Joshua emotionally declared that her murderer should receive the death penalty and his accomplices should get their tongues cut out.
Minnesota does not have the death penalty.
Ethan Martin Broad, 27, a member of the tangled web of young adults living in various seedy apartments and motel rooms in Moorehead, Minnesota, just across the Red River from Fargo, has been charged with second-degree murder in relation to Dystynee Avery’s disappearance early this month. Ethan was arrested on April 17 and is being held on a $1 million bond. Dystynee’s ex-boyfriend Joshua describes Ethan as a close and trusted friend of Dystynee’s.
Police believe Dystynee Avery was murdered on or around April 4. Investigators apparently believe that Ethan, a friend of Dystynee and her ex-boyfriend Joshua, bashed in Dystynee’s head with a lead pipe, slashed her throat, then used a number of saws to cut up her body and then put her remains in garbage bags and tossed them into his apartment building’s dumpsters.
The belief that Dystynee’s remains had been disposed of via the dumpsters led investigators to a landfill, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Moorhead Police Capt. Deric Swenson told The Associated Press that officers had been searching the landfill for more than two days. He said remains have been sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for an examination, but gave no further details.
Minnesota police discover remains of alleged homicide victim
Ethan initially claimed that someone else had murdered Dystynee Avery and that he was only directly involved in the body’s dismemberment and disposal. Initially no one, including Dystynee’s family or her ex-boyfriend, believed Ethan could be involved in her disappearance — until his stories started changing.
Ethan, who was never Dystynee Avery’s boyfriend, ultimately confessed that it was he who committed the horrendous murder.
David Erno, 22, and Andrea Payne, 26, who were also part of the network of people surrounding Dystynee Avery, were charged with accessory to murder on April 22. The two of them allegedly assisted Ethan in covering his tracks. Andrea is also an ex-girlfriend of boyfriend Joshua and is the mother of Joshua’s toddler daughter.
[Dystynee] Avery moved from Devers, Texas, to Moorhead about a year and a half ago to be with her then-boyfriend. She lived on and off with [Ethan] Broad during that time, Parker said. Broad and Avery were not dating at the time of her disappearance, Parker said, but Avery considered Broad and [Andrea] Payne to be like siblings to her. Broad and Avery met through Payne and [David] Erno, Parker said.
According to Dystynee Avery’s boyfriend at the time of her death, Jordan Yarborough, the young woman was close with all three of those who stand accused with having a hand in her murder.
“She looked to these people like they were family members,” Jordan told the Daily Beast.
Ethan was actually one of the first people to report that Dystynee was missing. Court documents indicate that she was last seen on April 3.
Dystynee’s family has been devastated by her death, the Daily Beast reports.
Valarie Parker, Avery’s sister, said that the family was “blindsided” by news of the arrests, as all three were good friends with the 19-year-old. She said that Broad and Payne had both been in direct contact with the family throughout the investigation and never “showed remorse.” “To the three people that murdered my baby sister, I do not feel any remorse for what they get in prison. I hope they get the death penalty, I hope they get every maximum sentence,” Parker told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “That was my best friend. They took my best friend from me and it hurts.”
Jordan told authorities that on April 4, Ethan called both him and Dystynee’s mother, Doreen, claiming that he and Dystynee had quarrelled the previous evening and then she disappeared.
Doreen was suspicious of Ethan from the start.
The mother told Valley News Live that Ethan’s claims about the circumstances leading up to Dystynee’s disappearance were “[a] bunch of B.S., because obviously he had already taken her life. She was already gone.”
According to NBC affiliate station Valley News Live, Doreen wants those responsible for her daughter’s death to pay dearly.
[Dystynee] Avery’s family says they hope justice is brought to everyone involved. Investigators are continuing their search Wednesday at the Clay County Landfill in hopes of recovering all of Dystynee Avery.
Two more in jail for murder of missing Moorhead teen
WDAY Fargo reporter Nick Broadway created a comprehensive white-board visual of the overlapping love triangles and game of housing musical chairs that would ensnare the doomed teen.
The path to murder began when Dystynee’s future boyfriend Joshua Clabough, as the reporter explains in the video, moved to North Dakota around 2015 to be with Andrea, who was then his girlfriend. The two of them holed up in a motel together.
Joshua, who is originally from rural North Georgia, has had run ins with the law over the years and has spent time in jail down South.
Up North, Joshua and Andrea’s relationship was beset with problems despite their having a baby together. It ultimately soured to the point where Joshua took up with young Dystynee (despite not breaking up with Andrea). This meant that Dystynee came to live in the motel with both Andrea and Josh. Despite the seeming awkwardness of that living arrangement, Joshua said things were fine because he and Andrea had fallen out of love.
“She was very loving, kind, she had a heart of gold,” Joshua told WDAY when asked about Dystynee. “She sees you struggling on the street, and it’s cold as s**t outside, she get you to a hotel or something. She’ll get you there, let you chill, let you warm up, help you try to find somewhere to go.”
But then Joshua and Dystynee split up. So she decamped from Josh and Andrea’s motel and shacked up with a new guy, named Damion.
Next, Joshua and Andrea moved out of the motel and went to live with Ethan at his shabby apartment in Moorhead.
Then, early this year, Dystynee called Joshua and said that Damion was abusing her and she wanted to leave him. So at Joshua’s suggestion, Dystynee rejoined the gang to live at Ethan’s place. This didn’t sit well with Andrea, who broke up with Joshua. Joshua then left Ethan’s apartment to go back to motel living. Andrea, Dystynee and Ethan continued to live together, despite the fact that Dystynee and Andrea had both dated and broken up with the same man.
As for accused murder accomplice David Erno, he was good buddies with both ex-boyfriend Joshua and Ethan and lived in his own place. It’s unclear how well David knew Dystynee Avery.
Investigators were able to pin the murder on Ethan by reviewing surveillance footage of him lugging a blue tote bin from his apartment to the garage, according to the New York Post. The friend whom, according to ex-boyfriend Jordan, Dystynee Avery loved like a brother, had apparently sawed up her body and left it in a dumpster.
A saw that Broad said he used on Avery’s body was found during a search of his apartment and garage. Blood and human tissue appeared to still be on the saw and investigators found large blue bins with blood on them in Broad’s garage, court documents show.
Police told Broad about all this evidence, at which point he fully confessed to Dystynee Avery’s murder. But he claimed he killed her in self defense, a claim both ex boyfriends Joshua and Jordan find laughable.
According to authorities, Andrea and David were able assistants when it came to Ethan’s efforts to cover his tracks. David told the police that Ethan and Andrea asked him to retrieve and wipe Dystynee’s computer. David obliged, erasing the memory on Andrea’s computer with the full knowledge that he was helping cover up a murder.
Ex-boyfriend Joshua, for his part, told WDAY Fargo that he wished Ethan would get slapped with the death penalty for Dystynee Avery’s murder.
“I think they need to hang his ass,” Joshua said.
While he would be more merciful toward Andrea and Ethan, saying they “don’t need to be hung,” Joshua insisted, “Those two need to get their tongues cut out.”
Friends of Joshua’s vouched for his character to WDAY Fargo and said that the reason he moved back to North Georgia a week after Dystynee Avery’s murder was “to get a clean slate.” At the time, the ex-boyfriend only knew that Dystynee was missing, but presumed that if he started anew back down South, he could eventually send for her to live with him, “even if I get another girlfriend … we can all live together.”
“I still love Dystynee,” Joshua said, “more than anything on this earth,” more even than the mother of his children.
“I promise one day I’ll see her again,” Joshua said, choking up.
Ethan, who if convicted stands to receive a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, is due back in court on May 14.