Investigation Discovery’s ‘Vengeance Killer: Newlyweds: Cold-Blooded Cliffhanger’ depicts how 25-year-old Cody Johnson died a gruesome death in Kalispell, Montana, in early July 2013. The authorities located his body two days later in Glacier National Park after a concerned friend reported him missing on July 8. While a strange email seemed to have depicted his death as an accident, the investigators soon uncovered a shocking truth about Cody’s killer that left everyone involved shaken to their core.
How Did Cody Johnson Die?
On July 8, 2013, Cameron Frederickson visited the Kalispell Police Department in Kalispell, Montana, to file a report about his friend and employer, Cody Johnson, who was mysteriously missing. He expressed deep concern, emphasizing Cody’s unusual absence from work without prior notification. Cameron even checked on him at his residence but discovered the front door ajar and no trace of Cody. The worried boss highlighted Cody’s consistent habit of carrying his phone everywhere, making the lack of communication even more alarming.
Cody Lee Johnson was born to David Clarence and Sherry Ann (née Watson) Johnson in San Jose in Santa Clara County, California, on April 8, 1988. Raised by a single mother who relocated to Kalispell when he was a teen, Cody was known for his friendly demeanor, outgoing nature, and strong work ethic. His passions included racing and repairing cars, kayaking, and hiking. He took immense pride in his profession — specializing in building custom commercial vehicles. By 22, he had saved enough money to move out of his mother’s house.
Erstwhile Kalispell Police Investigative Captain Scott Warnell fondly recalled, “Cody was well-liked among his peers. I didn’t hear anyone say a bad word about him.” According to the show, Cody’s deepest desire was to establish his family and have kids. One of his friends, Lytaunie Blasdel, remembered, “For the longest time, Cody just always talked about how he wanted to have a good church girl.” The 25-year-old’s search ended when he met Jordan Linn Graham, a profoundly religious local girl, on Halloween in 2011.
According to Jordan’s friends, she shared Cody’s dreams of getting married, being a stay-at-home mom, and starting a family. Completely enamored with Jordan, Cody became part of her church community, forming connections with her friends. They started dating in late 2011, and their relationship progressed rapidly, with them being engaged by December 2012 and tying the knot on June 29, 2013. Hence, it was shocking when Cody, 25, vanished without a trace just over a week after his marriage. It was later found that he was pushed off a cliff.
Who Killed Cody Johnson?
Sherry expressed deep concern over her missing son, as there had been no communication from him. The police were worried that Cody’s passion for the outdoors might have led him into trouble, considering prior incidents of people getting lost in Glacier National Park, a half-hour from Kalispell. They also regarded kayaking mishaps, given his love for the activity. The authorities initiated their investigation by interviewing Cody’s recent wife, Jordan. She informed them that she hadn’t seen Cody since the Sunday night of July 7.
Repeating their religious routine, Jordan stated they attended consecutive services at Faith Baptist Church on July 7 while spending time together at the lake between the two. After the afternoon service, they had gone to Dairy Queen with fellow church members, and later, Cody had allegedly left with friends in a car with a Washington license plate. Jordan didn’t recognize them and feared Cody’s love for fast cars might be the cause. The search for Cody persisted until Jordan received an unusual email from ‘carmontony607′ on July 10.
The email allegedly stated that Cody had gone for a joy ride with friends in Columbia Falls and never returned. According to the stranger, the friends claimed Cody went for a hike, and they were confident he fell and died. Tony even advised Jordan to call off the missing persons report. Acting on this information, the authorities began a search of the Glacier National Park, with witnesses claiming Jordan seemed unconcerned and stoic. During the search, Jordan abruptly stopped at a secluded spot — The Loop — and claimed she had “a hunch.”
Despite the treacherous terrain, Jordan skipped over some jagged rocks for a closer look before discovering her husband’s body over a 200-foot cliff, confirming his tragic demise. The investigators called Jordan for another interview on July 16 since they found it suspicious she could discover the exact location where the body was. Their suspicions were strengthened when they tracked the strange email to a computer at her parents’ house. The police also talked with a friend who had received an ominous text from her on July 7 night.
The concerned message read, “I’m about to talk to him. But dead serious if u don’t hear from me at all again tonight, something happened.” Faced with all the evidence, Jordan broke down and confessed to murdering Cody. She stated they had been arguing while hiking at The Loop and proceeded down the steep terrain near a stump. As their quarreling intensified, Jordan alleged Cody assaulted her by grabbing her by the arm, and she was furious by his behavior. She admitted to pushing him over the cliff as he fell 200 feet and died.
Where Is Jordan Linn Graham Now?
According to official court records, Jordan had a meltdown the next day after her marriage to Cody. A friend alleged she “had a meltdown” motivated by second thoughts about her nuptials. Multiple witnesses, including her stepfather, Stephen Rutledge, testified that Jordan lured her newlywed husband to Glacier National Park by claiming she had a “surprise” for him. One of Cody’s friends, Eddie Alberto Colon, also backed the testimony. The police also showed a black cloth found near the body, alleging Jordan blindfolded him before pushing him.
Reports alleged Jordan was dissatisfied with her marriage and was horrified by the prospect of coitus owing to her religious upbringing. Her mother also alleged that Cody was much more in love with his bride than she was with him. Jordan pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years, followed by five years of supervised release in late March 2014. She appealed against her sentence multiple times till her appeal process formally ended in February 2017. Jordan, 32, is imprisoned at FCI Aliceville and will be released in 2039.