The mysterious death of Emily Hauze at the Park Charles apartment building in Baltimore more than a decade ago continues to produce vexing details that raise questions about the official police report. According to police, Hauze fell down the trash chute of the apartment building while looking for a bathroom. Aside from the implausibility of this theory, there’s also the fact that another person, Harsh Kumar, died in exactly the same way in the same building just one year before Hauze. Following previous reporting on the deaths of Hauze and Kumar, Land of the Unsolved returns for a fresh look, drawing on a previously unreleased police interview with the last person to see Hauze alive.
Production: Stephen Janis, Taya Graham, Jayne Miler
Post-Production: Stephen Janis
The following is a rushed transcript and may contain errors. A proofread version will be made available as soon as possible.
Anyone who watches crime dramas could reasonably conclude that when someone is murdered, barring bizarre and extenuating circumstances, the case is solved. That is through high-tech forensics, moral resolve, or simply the near mythic competence of American law enforcement, killers are ultimately sent to jail.
But as an investigative reporter who has worked in one of the most violent cities in the country for nearly 15 years, I can tell you this is not true.
And that is the point of this podcast because unsolved killings represent more than just statistics. It’s a psychic toll of stories untold that infects an entire community, the final violent moments of a victim’s life that remain shrouded in mystery.
I’m Stephen Janis.
I’m Taya Graham.
And we are investigative reporters who live in Baltimore City.
Welcome to the Land of the Unsolved.
Welcome back to the Land of the Unsolved, the podcast that explores both the evidence and the politics of unsolved murders and mysterious deaths in Baltimore and beyond.
In our last episode, we told you about the death of Emily Hauze. Emily was last seen leaving Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood with a young man she had just met. The next morning her body was found in a dumpster in the basement of the Park Charles, a [inaudible 00:01:55] apartment building. The dumpster was attached to a trash chute connected to the upper floors of the building.
At first, police could not identify the young woman, but shortly after the gruesome discovery, a police officer observed a young man carrying a plastic bag out of the lobby of the building. It turns out in the bag where the belongings of the person whose body was lying in the dumpster, Emily Hauze.
That is where we pick up this story because that encounter led police to question the man for several hours. An interview for which we have a transcript, and we’ll be sharing it with you shortly.
But first I want to introduce my guests who will be taking us through this investigation and review the evidence that we have gleaned from a very reliable source: the criminal case file, which we obtained. In it are hundreds of pages of documents, interviews, and of course an autopsy report.
But there are also some things that are left out, which is why I’m joined by investigative reporters, Jayne Miller and Stephen Janis to review it. Thank you both so much for joining me.
Thanks for having us too, Taya.
First, Jayne, what strikes you as the most critical question after reading through the case file?
Well, I mean there’s a big gap here in terms of knowing exactly what happened. So what do we know? What do we know? What we know about this case is that we have this young woman who is out partying and met a man, a guy at the party, and the two of them have had a number of drinks, et cetera, and they end up going back to his apartment, which is in the building where the trash chute is.
We know that she’s in the building, we know she’s in the apartment. The man’s roommate saw her come into the apartment. The story of the man is that at some point they were in bed and at some point she said, “Don’t go anywhere. I’m going to the bathroom.” And that was it. That’s the last time of any trail of her.
What happens next is we presume that sometime between 2:00 AM, after 2:00 AM, the next thing that happens in this case is that a little after 8 o’clock in the morning, the maintenance person for the apartment building finds the body of a young woman in the trash bin that is below the trash chute of the building.
That turns out to be the very same woman, Emily Hauze, who had gone out for partying, came back to the apartment with this guy she met and ends up dead in the trash chute.
There’s a big gap in terms of how did she get there? Did she get into the chute by herself? Did someone put her in the chute? Did she get into the trash bin some other way? There’s no video in the building. At that time there were no cameras in the building. This happened in the middle of the night. There’s no witnesses to what happened. So the biggest question is what happened? How did she get into that trash container? It’s really the compactor.
The other thing that I think is really important to note here is that, in some ways, trying to link and identify and track injury is a little difficult because she was injured also by the compactor, even though it may have been postmortem as the autopsy points out. But there was contact with the compactor that also caused significant injury, so in terms of being able to say, oh, that was caused by the fall and that was caused by whatever, that could have been a little bit difficult because of what happened once the body was in the trash compactor.
Baltimore has this history of having these cases that are like, what? I mean, you have a young woman who’s out partying at night and says she’s going to the bathroom and ends up in the trash bin, in the trash compactor, which is not like, one doesn’t lead to the other. The bathroom’s in the apartment that she was in, the trash chute is down the hall. The chute itself is, this isn’t like a regular door. Anybody who lives in an apartment knows what we’re talking about here. Small door opens from the top, like 18″ by 20″, something like that, and is intended to put your trash bag in, not to put yourself in, simply by the construction of it and the way it’s constructed.
And so to get a better grasp of the questions I will read from the transcript of the interview with the last person to see Emily alive. Now just to be clear, we are not sharing his identity because he was never considered a suspect by police, nor was he charged with anything related to Emily’s death. We are simply sharing this transcript to answer the questions both Stephen and Jayne have raised.
How exactly did Emily end up in the trash chute and what, if any, clues could explain her untimely death, all that coming up on the Land of the Unsolved.
Hey, this is Taya Graham from The Land of the Unsolved. If you enjoy our podcast and would like us to investigate even more cases, consider supporting our work by either subscribing on our Anchor page or you can also buy one of the books Stephen and I wrote that are available on Amazon and a variety of other websites. Why Do We Kill: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore written with former homicide detective Kelvin Sewell, and You Can’t Stop Murder: Truths About Policing in Baltimore and Beyond, also in collaboration with a former detective and guest on our show, Stephen Tabeling. Or if you’re in the mood for fictive take on how Baltimore’s struggle with violence and aggressive policing has affected the psyche of the city, I recommend you pick up This Dream Called Death, a book Stephen wrote while he was covering the city’s failed attempt to implement zero tolerance policing and how he reveals the truly corrosive power of that policy by casting it into an alternate reality where the mind and our dreams become the new frontier for government surveillance.
Welcome back to the Land of the Unsolved, the podcast that explores both the evidence and politics of unsolved murders and mysterious deaths in Baltimore and beyond. Today we’re on the third part of our four-part series on the death of Emily Hauze. As we discussed before, police were at a loss to explain how Emily ended up in a dumpster in the basement of the Park Charles apartment building. At first they couldn’t even identify her body. But then an officer observed a white male exiting the lobby of the building with a plastic bag. In it were the belongings of the woman they could not identify, Emily Hauze. That is why police decided to interview the man who they learned was the last person to see her alive.
It’s an interview we can actually share with you. That’s because we have the transcript, which I will read from. But first we want to explain why we are not identifying this person. That’s because police never indicated he was a suspect, nor was he ever charged with a crime. And so now here are the excerpts of that conversation, which I will read.
Before I start, I want to warn listeners that some of the details of this transcript are graphic and might be disturbing. We have limited them as much as possible. However, we felt it was necessary to include at least some of the questioning only to give a fuller picture of what transpired during the interview.
Detective: Okay. All right. On your arrival back to your apartment, again, you went into your apartment and you guys began in sexual activity. Student: Yes. Detective: In that sexual activity, you don’t mind me asking, and again, I’m pretty detail oriented, so forgive me, was there ever any point in time that she requested for the sex to be concluded? Student: No. Detective: No? Student: No. Actually, I don’t recall exactly how it came to an end. I just kind of remember laying there afterwards. Detective: Did you ejaculate? Student: I did not. Detective: You did not? Student: I did not. Sergeant: Are you positive? That’s a pretty key element. Student: Right. Sergeant: You know, who knows if she turns up somewhere with your baby, you know? Student: All right. No, I’m pretty certain that I didn’t. Sergeant: Okay.
Detective: Okay. And to your recollection, can you recall where your shorts were that you loaned her, where they might have been at at that time? Student: No, that’s all quite honestly, really unclear to me. Detective: Unclear? Student: Yes. Detective: Those shorts that you referred to, were they boxer shorts or regular shorts, like the ones you’re wearing now? Student: They’re just regular shorts, like gym shorts. This is like a vague memory I have. I remember reaching in my bedroom drawer and grabbing two pairs of gym shorts. Detective: Yes sir. Student: Handing her one and taking one myself. Detective: Can you recall what color? Student: No, I can’t. I mean I could. Detective: What pair did you keep for yourself? Student: That’s what’s not specifically clear to me. What I guess were the black ones, the lacrosse ones, so I was wearing my old ones. Sergeant: And please take no offense to any of our questions. Okay? Student: I understand. I understand.
Detective: Referring to your apartment when you directed us to the apartment, when we responded with you in plain view, there was a bottle of some medical lidocaine. Student: Yes. Detective: Now I’m not privy to medical information as far as descriptions, but lidocaine is something that’s oral or something that has to be injected? Student: Injected. Detective: Injected. Okay. Student: It’s like a numbing that you have before a local procedure. You know, the doctor will inject a little bit of lidocaine and numb the area. Detective: And I took notice that this was actually on your living room table. Student: Yes.
Detective: Now I understand that you’re a physician, but what was the reason the lidocaine was there? Student: So yeah, I just want to say I had this growth, like an infection, in the skin of my ear and the skin infection had swollen up and become kind of gross and it had some pus in it, so I asked redacted if he would mind if one of these ways to get better is to cut it open and let the pus out. And I think this was last week. Detective: Yes, sir. Student: Yeah, so I had him inject some lidocaine and open that up for me. It’s mostly healed now. Detective: Okay. So the lidocaine was more or less in the house. Student: In what? Detective: In the house. Student: Yes.
Detective: Okay. So I took notice that in close proximity to the lidocaine there were some rolling papers. Do you smoke? Student: On occasion. Detective: Now when I say smoke, I’m a little street oriented, so when I say smoke, I could refer to cigarettes or I could refer to marijuana. But for the purposes of our encounter, are you referring to cigarettes, tobacco, or are you referring to marijuana? If you don’t mind me asking. Student: I assume you’re asking about marijuana. Detective: Yes, I am. Student: Yeah, on occasion, on average, every couple of months. Sergeant: For your glaucoma, correct. Student: No sir. Sergeant: It’s a joke.
Sergeant: You taking any other drugs, illicit drugs or anything? Student: At no point, no. Sergeant: That you or Emily participated in last night? Student: No, it’s nothing. And we certainly drank a lot, but to my knowledge there was nothing. Nothing else. Sergeant: Okay.
Sergeant: So the entire time this young lady, Emily, was more or less involved with you, she was in your presence between the bar and your apartment, is that correct? She was in your company? Student: Between the bar and our apartment, yes. Detective: Okay.
Detective: And so as far as what’s to say, while at your apartment, again, there was no one else that came inside your apartment while you were there with her Student: Correct, to my knowledge. Detective: And upon waking up this morning, you had no knowledge as to where she went? Student: Right. And just to clarify. Detective: Please. Student: My roommate was home already, but no one else came into the apartment, to my knowledge.
Detective: And your roommate, again, is presently at work, is that correct? Student: Correct. Detective: Okay. Well again, let me just ask this lastly, because our encounter is based on you coming down to the lobby, and upon coming down to the lobby, you were there, from my understanding, to meet some friends of Emily. Is that correct? Student: Yes. Detective: Okay. And upon you coming down to the lobby to meet these friends, you had some items to give them, is that correct? Student: Yes. Detective: And these items were? Student: Her belongings. Detective: Okay. And during which time the police were there on the scene, is that correct? Student: Yes. Yes. Detective: Okay. And at any point in time between the initial time you woke up this morning and the time that you found that she was not there, she being Emily, the time that you woke up again around 11 is when her phone went off. Student: Yes. Detective: At any point in time did you notify 9-1-1 or the police? Student: I did not.
Detective: Okay. But did it strike you as bizarre that she was not there? Student: Yes, and I was just, honestly, I think I was just praying and hoping once I like dozed back, I don’t know, I was just hoping, I was dreaming, or I had a nightmare or something because, yeah, that’s certainly not normal. And now I’m pretty upset with myself for even dozing back off. Of course, I wish I would’ve acted on that.
Detective: Why were you alarmed more or less? Student: What’s that? Detective: Why were you alarmed when you woke up and she wasn’t there? Why were you actually alarmed? What startled you? Student: Just because I remembered that she had come home with me and, I don’t know, it’s not normal that she would be gone a few hours later when I woke up for sure. Sergeant: And just her being gone was strange or would anything make it even stranger? Student: Well, certainly. Sergeant: And how about the fact that she was gone and her belongings were there? Student: And that’s when I recall, that’s when it hit me, I think. Sergeant: So the odds of the female that you had a great time with last night, being butt naked, leaving your apartment to try to find her way home, what kind of odds do you think that would be? Have you ever seen any other naked girls wandering in your apartment building? Student: I would say. Sergeant: The streets of Baltimore? Student: No. Detective: Ever in your life? Student: No.
Sergeant: Well, one more thing. I mean, you woke up your first time at 9:30. Student: Yes. Sergeant: you said you checked for her. Where did you check? Student: I walked out and looked into the family room. I didn’t see her on the couch. I checked the bathroom. I thought maybe she fell asleep there. Sergeant: Right. Student: Obviously she was not there and I looked into redacted room to see if maybe she had gotten into that bed, and. Sergeant: So you checked the apartment pretty thoroughly. Student: No. Yes and no. I checked the whole apartment in a cursory manner, assuming that if there was a person. Sergeant: You would see her. You didn’t look under beds. Student: Right. Sergeant: Or look in drawers. Student: Right. Sergeant: Or in the refrigerator. Student: Right. And I was almost afraid to do that. If she wasn’t … I was in my head, I guess, hoping that she was hiding in a bizarre place. Sergeant: Right. Student: Which would be like, aha, that’s a funny story to look back on. But I didn’t want to find out that she wasn’t actually in the room.
Now the whole time you were in her company last night, what was her mental state? What was your mental state? Describe the time you guys were having. Student: Yeah, everyone was really happy, having a good time and I don’t know, I’m a very happy person. Like the one new friend, redacted, commented on how I was always laughing. She said, “Bring me around because you always laugh at my jokes or whatever.” I guess I’m the one who gets the crowd started. Sergeant: Right. Student: That’s just like how I am.
Sergeant: And how about Emily? What was her mental state. Student: She seemed like she’s having a great time. I mean, I just met most of them. And from what I understand, they all went to college together. And so it was like they’re all college friends. Sergeant: I mean, let’s be blunt, you were having the time of your life. You went to a house party with friends, met a pretty girl, and were getting lucky. Student: Yeah, we were having a good time.
Sergeant: Single guy? Student: Yeah. Detective: You said you searched the interior of your apartment, is that correct? Student: The what? Detective: You searched the inside of your apartment, the interior. Student: Yes, yes. Detective: Did you ever respond outside to check? Student: I opened the door and peeked my head out and there was nothing to see. Detective: You’ll never go outside your building to walk around the building or the neighborhood? I understand that you have a person that works at the front desk. Did you ever speak to the desk person? Student: Not until I came down and all the officers were there. Detective: Okay. Student: And that’s when I said. Detective: But prior to this, you’ve never done so? Student: Correct. Sergeant: At any time last night or this morning, did you ever throw out any garbage. Student: No. Detective: You’re sure? Student: Yes. Detective: When was the last time the garbage had been dumped from your apartment? Student: Earlier this week, I think redacted did it. We had a bag that was just about full and I remember weird things, so we took it out and we put a new bag in the canister, but then left the older one because sometimes there’s more room you can fill in there and I think we we’re using that, and then I think one day I came home and assumed redacted had pitched it.
Detective: Okay. So where do you throw the trash? Where’s the trash. Student: There’s a chute right outside the apartment. Right outside our door. Sergeant: Okay. Detective: There’s a chute right outside the door? Student: Yeah, it’s immediately 20 feet over. Detective: Okay. So let’s say there’s your front door. Do you make a left or a right? Student: Coming out of the apartment, you make a right. Detective: Are there any other apartments between your door and the chute? Student: Not between, no. Detective: Okay. And so at no point in time last night or this morning, did you come out to throw anything away? Student: No. Detective: You sure? Student: I’m certain. Detective: Okay. You were going to say something. Student: No, I was just telling you before we got started that I’d overheard something and I was just. Detective: Well? Student: Well, praying it didn’t pertain to this.
Detective: Okay. And for the purpose of this taped interview and for the purpose of this encounter, have you heard or seen from Emily as of yet? Student: No. Detective: Okay. I don’t know what you may have heard inside of an office now and since you’ve been here, has anybody come into the room, which is just outside this office, spoken to you, told you what to say, threaten you with anything, anything of the sort? Student: No.
It’s been brought to our attention that the remains of a young lady have been located at the vicinity of that building. Student: Remains as in no longer living? Sergeant: Deceased. Detective: The person, she’s no longer living. That is a fact. And that persons remains to be consistent with that of the individual you described. And right now it appears that at some point we may find out who this person is and if that person is in fact probably a person by the first name of Emily, the last person that was with her may have been you.
Sergeant: Well, may have been from your own words, you were the last person. Student: To my knowledge, yeah. Sergeant: To your knowledge in the apartment? Okay. Well sir, right now, unfortunately we’re investigating a suspicious death and I would hope that everything that you’ve told myself and the Sergeant has been the truth. Student: Yes.
Detective: I would hope. Sometimes in this profession I’ve been wrong and I’ve asked such young people as yourself to tell me the truth. Now, if there was something, sir, that unintentionally occurred, let’s say that young person, this Emily, between yourself or anyone else and Emily, speaking about you specifically, I implore you this ain’t TV. This isn’t the movies. I’m not looking to make a book, nor is my partner here. I’m not here to disrupt your life any more than it may have been from this point on. However, as a man, as a prudent individual with enough sense because this person, Emily has a family. Student: Yeah. Detective: Had a family. Student: Of course. Detective: Now if something happened that was unintentional, whether it be, I don’t know, love making, drugs, whatever the case might be, I don’t know. I wasn’t there, nor my partner here, however, allow us to work these things out right now. Student: I completely understand what you’re saying. Detective: Let me ask you flat out. If this young lady, Emily, and you were the last person based on our investigation right now, that this was in fact this young lady, the very last person, there is no way. Student: I mean I couldn’t have been the last person with her.
Detective: Let’s say that someone out in Baltimore City is walking around with a naked young lady and her belongings are back at your apartment up there at Charles Street. Well, let’s just say for the purpose of this investigation, she was in fact with you, and I’m going to ask you flat out, did you do any harm to that young lady. Student: In no way harmed her. I’m serious.
Detective: Did you kill anyone that we found that was at the vicinity of that apartment today? Student: No, sir. I’ve never. Detective: You didn’t? Student: Never done such a thing. Detective: Okay. Sergeant: Did you give her any date rape drugs? Student: No, sir. Sergeant: Did you inject her with lidocaine or any other medical? Student: No sir. Sergeant: Devices, drugs, anything? Because testing will be conducted on her body, okay? Student: Absolutely. Sergeant: And if lidocaine comes back in her system and lidocaine is found in your apartment, I mean, you know have some explaining to do. Student: Yes, sir. No, I completely understand the situation and, as I have been, I’m only going to be cooperative. Detective: Thank you. Student: In every way I can be. Detective: Thank you very much.
Sergeant: I don’t know if you directly answered the question. Did you provide Emily with lidocaine last night? Student: No. Sergeant: did you inject Emily with anything? Student: No, sir. Nothing. No, I didn’t. Honestly, there was no foul play. Nothing at all. Detective: Okay. And again, the last time that you had any kind of correspondence with her is when she said to you something to the effect of, “Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be back.” Was she completely naked at that time? Student: I believe so, yes. Detective: Okay. And you haven’t seen her since? Student: I have not. Detective: Okay.
Sergeant: A lot of things that you stated you appear not to be sure about. I think maybe in your own words, it’s kind of like in a haze. I don’t remember if she put the shorts on before or after sex. It’s something that comes to mind that you’re unsure about. Could you be unsure about anything else? Student: No, I think those things I’ve been unsure of, I’ve said that. Sergeant: Could you be unsure if you accidentally hurt her in your apartment? Student: No, I couldn’t. And I know there’s no substance or alcohol that would make me harm anyone, but specifically her. Sergeant: You know I’m not saying intentionally. Student: I understand. I understand.
Sergeant: So you choose not to call nine one one from a cell phone to report a girl, that you had a sexual encounter with, missing, with her belongings still in your apartment, but you choose to bag them up, and pardon the phrase, almost discard them as trash, to walk them out, to give to her friends to say good luck finding your naked friend? Student: No, not at all. This all happened so quickly. I was like, yeah, I’d come here and I figured we’d talk and then to see there was a police car parked outside our building, so I figured if I was going out there to meet them, I would be able to talk to the police officer. Sergeant: So what do you think could have happened to Emily from the time you see her naked, telling you, “Don’t move, stay right there,” to exiting your bedroom naked? I mean, now think outside the box. What happened to where we could find her deceased this morning? Student: Truthfully, I can’t even imagine. Sergeant: Just think about it.
Student: I mean, she could have wandered outside of the apartment, wandered outside of my specific apartment. Sergeant: What do you mean wandered outside? As been in the hallway? Student: Yeah, I mean, truthfully, I assumed she would be coming right back. Detective: So is there anything else you might be able to think of that may be able to assist us in part? And obviously we’re going to try to find out whether or not the remains of this young lady is Emily, but hopefully we’re wrong. Is there anything you can think of that might be able to assist us in finding out about her whereabouts or what might have happened to her? Student: Nothing comes to mind.
Student: I can’t even imagine. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to give a better hypothetical. I can’t. I assumed she would walk back into the bedroom.
Detective: Okay. So when you woke up, Emily wasn’t there at all. Student: Correct. Detective: Well, what did you do from that point? Student: I got up, I looked around, my heart was racing because I had no idea where she would’ve gone. I looked around the apartment, I freaked out, and I was texting redacted hoping that maybe on his way to work or something, she had gone straight to the bathroom and said, “Can I get a ride home?” Or something like that. And he was like, “No, I’m pretty sure she was still there when I left.” And yeah, then I think I was just laying on my bed texting him and I kind of dozed back off and that’s when I woke up for good around 11 and I was like, “Oh my goodness. Her phone had been ringing.”
Detective: Her phone? Student: Her phone had been ringing. She left all her belongings. Detective: Well what do you mean she left all her belongings? What do you mean? Student: There. Everything that she came with was still in my room. Detective: Describe it to me. Everything that she came with? Student: Her purse, her clothing, her shoes, her underwear, her jeans, her shirt, her bra, everything was still on the floor in my room. Detective: On the floor in your room? Student: Correct. Her phone was in her purse, which was near those things, near her shirt by my nightstand, and it was vibrating, so I woke up to that. I had missed the call by the time I got her phone out and returned the call to her friend, redacted. Detective: Hold on. You said initially I asked you if the alarm clock woke you up and you said you just woke up, so. Student: That was at 9:30. Detective: Okay. Student: I had just woken up and then I dozed back off while I was texting redacted to try to figure out what happened. And then I woke back up around 11 to that phone vibrating. Detective: Her phone? Student: Correct.
I called back one of the numbers that had called. It was her friend redacted, who I also met last night. And I said, “Hi,” and she said, “Hey, is Emily there with you?” And I was like, “Actually, no, I have no idea where she went. And I was praying she was with you guys somehow.” And she said, “Oh my gosh.” And I was like, “Yeah, has this ever happened before? Does she sleepwalk or anything like that?” And she said, “No, this has never happened before.” Do you want me to just keep talking to you guys? Sergeant: Yeah. She said, “Okay, well I’m coming over there right now, where do you live?” Or whatever, and I was like, “All her things are still here.” And she’s like, “Okay, we’ll get her things.” And I just said, “Okay.” I hoped that in the meantime she would be lying out somewhere else. I checked the couch, hoping maybe she wandered and slept back there. She wasn’t there, so I got her things together and I was just going to wait and try to make some calls and see if anybody had any idea. And then I saw the officers in the lobby and so right away I was like, “Well, these are the right people to speak to.”
Detective: You seem to be a prudent minded person. At any point did you notify authorities? Student: No. Detective: No? Student: I did not.
This concludes my reading of the transcript of the interview between Baltimore Police and the last person to see Emily alive as far as we know. I will be discussing what I just read with Jayne and Stephen on our next episode. We will also be sharing new information we have just obtained about the case, so be sure to join us.
Also, if you have a tip or comment, please email us at email@example.com. We always want to hear from you and always appreciate your feedback and input.
My name is Taya Graham. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Land of the Unsolved.