Anchorage police arrest man in case of missing nurse

Joshua Wade, 27, an 'extreme person of interest' in disappearance of Mindy Schloss

Posted: Monday, September 03, 2007

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A man sought for questioning in the disappearance of an Anchorage psychiatric nurse was taken into custody Sunday morning.

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Joshua Wade, 27, is considered an "extreme person of interest" in the disappearance of Mindy Schloss, 52, who has been missing since Aug. 3.

He was apprehended at 11:38 a.m. at an apartment complex on the east side of Anchorage, said Lt. Paul Honeman, the department spokesman.

More than 45 officers, including the department's SWAT team, surrounded the building.

"We considered him armed and dangerous," Honeman said. "He's been someone who's been somewhat elusive in the past."

Wade was turned over to FBI agents, who were seeking him in connection with the use of Schloss' automated teller machine card in Sand Lake, the neighborhood where she lived. Wade was wanted on three federal counts: bank fraud, illegal use of an access device and aggravated identity theft.

Wade was involved in a high-profile trial four years ago. He was acquitted in 2003 of charges that he raped and beat to death Della Brown, 33, whose body was found in September 2000. However, Wade was convicted of evidence tampering conviction in that case. He was released from prison in 2004.

Friends of Schloss became concerned after she failed to appear for appointments and could not be reached. The nurse missed a scheduled flight on Aug. 5 to Fairbanks.

He car was found Aug. 9 near the Alaska Airlines cargo facility on Old International Airport Road, a frontage road south of the airport's main road. The discovery led police to "strongly suspect foul play" in Schloss' disappearance.

Police released a picture taken Aug. 5 at an ATM of a man using Schloss' bank card. The photo showed only part of the man's face and a bandanna around his neck.

According to the FBI, the man, later identified as Wade, used Schloss' ATM card to withdraw $500 from the Sand Lake branch of Wells Fargo. Early the next day, roughly 24 hours after her card was first used, the same man withdrew another $500, this time from a Credit Union 1 branch, according to the affidavit. The suspect had made balance inquiries and knew Schloss' account contained more than $20,000, according to an FBI affidavit.

A witness saw the suspect and was able to give investigators a detailed description.

On Aug. 18, police used a warrant to search the house where Wade was living next door to Schloss. They found clothes matching those worn by the suspect in the ATM videos, according to the affidavit. Inside the pocket of a jacket was a withdrawal receipt for $500 from Credit Union 1 dated Aug. 6.

Wade was not at the home when agents searched it. A roommate said he left six hours earlier.

Police last week said they were seeking Wade. They said they had found Wade's DNA on the steering wheel of Schloss' car and the FBI identified him as the person who withdrew money from Schloss' account.

They asked for the public's help in finding him.

"As of Friday, there were over 50 tips and e-mails into the system," Honeman said.

Honeman said officers worked hard contacting acquaintances of the 6-foot-1-inch, 225-pound Wade and that hard work paid off Sunday morning.

Wade had probably been aware he was being sought since the bank photo was made public, Honeman said. He likely has been keeping out of sight with friends and acquaintances.

"He's not the only person of interest in the Mindy Schloss case," Honeman said.

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