Courtney Holden was reported missing by her adoptive family over a year after neighbors reported her trying to leave her Spokane, WA home during the night. Courtney’s family seemed to be covering up what actually happened. Could lost security footage reveal what happened to Courtney Holden?
Courtney Holden was a young mother of an adopted son who was living in Spokane, Washington. Growing up, Courtney was in the foster care system and like most children, dreamed of being adopted, however, her experience was a nightmare. Her adoptive mother, Judy Holden, and adoptive brother, Joshua, were unkind and condescending, often referring to her as “Cindy” - as in Cinderella- while she did household chores.
She was rarely allowed to leave the family home and if she did, there were signs of abuse when she did leave the home. Courtney was not allowed to own a cell phone or a car. Witnesses would tell police that they saw Courtney’s son referring to Judy as “Mom” and Joshua as “Daddy”. A family member would inform the police that this was ‘normal’ even when Courtney was around.
Here is what we know leading up to Courtney’s disappearance
October 2017: Courtney is last seen by a medical professional. It remains unclear if it was a routine appointment.
July 2018: A neighbor would recall witnessing Courtney’s attempt to leave the family home in the middle of the night. Courtney was seen with a duffle bag. Judy would be seen chasing Courtney stating “Get back in that house” and Courtney replied “No, I’m not staying here anymore”. Her adoptive brother, Joshua, who is over 6ft tall, and 300 lbs, would be seen forcibly carrying Courtney back into the home against her will.
Later that same month, Joshua would be spotted by neighbors setting up spotlights and building a swing set in the middle of the night.
October 8, 2019: Courtney is officially reported missing by her son’s father’s girlfriend, who had not seen Courtney or her son in over a year. However, when police arrived at the Holden home to do a wellness check, Joshua told them that Courtney ran away with her son and boyfriend.
Oddly enough, Judy and Joshua would withdraw $600 from Courtney’s bank account and her food stamps card was used the same day she was reported missing. Security footage would confirm that Judy, Joshua, and Courtney’s son had gone grocery shopping. An unidentified woman called the tip line claiming to be Courtney—but it wasn’t Courtney, but her adoptive sister. The adoptive sister never explained why she pretended to be Courtney.
October 10, 2019: Detectives from the Spokane Police Department enter Judy Holden’s home. Detectives would recall that Judy was nervous and uneasy any time she lost sight of the police officers in her home. The home would appear cluttered and unkempt, but there was no evidence of anyone living in Courtney’s old room. Judy did not allow the detectives to enter Courtney’s son’s room.
October 24, 2019: Police arrived at the Holden residence with a search warrant. Upon arrival, police would discover that Judy and Joshua had left the home. While 82 pieces of evidence were collected, all of their pets and the DVR that kept the security footage were removed from the home. Some items of evidence that were collected include ID cards, computers, 18 cell phones, blackmail notes, and a missing person's journal.
November 2019: Joshua and Judy deactivate their phones, and get new phone numbers with Texas area codes. This tipped off investigators as to where they were heading.
December 2019: Law enforcement located Joshua, Judy, and Courtney’s son in Plano, Texas at Courtney’s adoptive sister’s home.
December 19, 2020: Judy and her son, Joshua, were arrested in Texas for identity theft and custodial interference. While police also questioned them in relation to Courtney’s case, they were uncooperative.
Why was a missing person's journal found in the Holden home? Why was Joshua building a swingset in the middle of the night? Why did Courtney’s adoptive sister pretend to be Courtney the day she was reported missing? What information was received from the evidence collected inside the home? Why did Judy and Joshua take the DVR with the security footage - could there be footage that explains what happened to Courtney?
Where the case stands today
Courtney’s case remains unsolved and there have been no arrests made relating to her missing person’s case. Police believe it is likely that Courtney is deceased.
If you have any information relating to Courtney Holden’s case, please contact the Spokane Police Department at (509) 755-2489.