The private investigator who convinced Emily Glass to lead him to her missing stepson’s body told her she wouldn’t do more than 18 months on probation if she came forward and told police what happened to Lucas Hernandez, according to a podcast.
On an audio recording the private investigator, David Marshburn of North Carolina, made of his conversation with Glass on May 24, he tells Glass that if she comes forward, she’ll be charged with concealing Lucas’ death. He also tells her she might possibly face an obstruction of justice charge after she asks if she’s going to go to jail.
“They’re going probably to charge you with obstruction — that means you lied to them. Well, that’s not gonna stick,” Marshburn says on the recording, which was played on the second of two “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” podcasts that aired this week.
He also tells Glass that she won’t be placed in handcuffs or be arrested and that he’ll take her to her lawyer’s office so she can say she wants to plead guilty.
“Just make sure the story you tell this time is exactly what we talked about,” Marshburn tells Glass.
She cries and says she doesn't want to go to jail. "I can't do jail. I can't!" she sobs on the recording.
In an interview that aired with the recordings, Marshburn tells Grace that his goal in telling Glass she’d only receive probation was to keep her talking until she revealed where Lucas’ body was hidden. She didn’t know that she was being taped, he told Grace.
“We try not to lie. And in our minds, we don’t,” Marshburn told Grace, explaining his tactics. “She makes a fake reality, so we do, too. ... We do the same thing she does to us.”
The two podcasts, which were released Wednesday and Thursday, give the most detailed account so far from Marshburn of how he convinced Glass to take him to Lucas’ remains and how exactly the boy’s body was found hidden under debris beneath a culvert bridge in southeast rural Harvey County.
Both are available in full on www.crimeonline.com. Each is just under an hour long and includes commentary from Grace and others she invited to be on the show.
Glass, 27, reported Lucas missing from their South Edgemoor rental home on Feb. 17. At the time, she told police that Lucas went missing from his bedroom while she was taking an afternoon nap. Police said they didn’t believe Lucas left on his own and that there was no sign he was abducted.
Police and volunteers spent the next three months searching for the pre-kindergartner, without any luck. Police have described Glass as Lucas' stepmom.
Exactly how Lucas died remains a mystery. The results of his autopsy haven’t yet been released. A toxicology screen, which looks for drugs and other chemicals in someone’s body, is in progress.
Marshburn, who was hired by Lucas’ family, found the boy’s body in less than two days. His tactics included interviewing both Glass and Lucas’ father, Jonathan Hernandez, and telling Glass that he and his partner were trying to help her, he told Grace.
In the interviews on the podcasts, Marshburn describes Glass as “cold and callous” during their talks. He says he met Glass at her aunt’s house after he arrived in Wichita from North Carolina, and when he went to shake her hand, she reached out to hug him without smiling.
“I felt like that was to say, ‘Thank you. You’re going to help me get out of trouble,’” Marshburn told Grace. He said seeing Glass’ body language was key.
While they talked over the next few hours, Glass wore sunglasses, kept her arms crossed, didn’t cry and was silent except for giving short answers to his questions. The only time she showed emotion, he said, was when he told Glass that a death certificate could be issued for Lucas in seven months “and they’re coming for you.”
Marshburn told Grace the approach he took with Glass was to accuse her. He said he “basically went at her as, ‘I know you did it. I’m here. I can help you. What can I do for you?’” Eventually Glass tells Marshburn that she woke up and found Lucas dead in his bed, Marshburn said in the interview.
He also told Grace that Glass admitted to using methamphetamine while Lucas and her 1-year-old daughter were at home and that she let a homeless man spend the night at her house just before she reported Lucas missing to police.
Marshburn told Grace he thought Glass brought the homeless man to her house so she could frame him. The homeless man was later killed in a hit-and-run, according to Grace’s podcast.
Marshburn told Grace that when he and Glass set out to find where Lucas’ body was hidden, Glass “gave us little clues here and there.” He said they drove around for about four hours before he told Glass they were going to stop at every bridge to look for him.
“The very first bridge I get to, I lay down on the ground and peek my head underneath, and there I see the top of Lucas’ head. And then I see all these branches on top,” Marshburn told Grace, adding that elements of the crime scene had washed away in the months since Lucas was reported missing. “There’s nothing there except for him and what’s near him, on top of him and all,” Marshburn told Grace.
He was “laying there exactly as she described.”
Marshburn told Grace that he sent his partner down to look at the body and he went to tell Glass what he’d found. She was still in the car.
At first, Marshburn told Grace, Glass denied that the body was Lucas’.
“Emily says, ‘I don’t think this is his. That’s not him.’ And finally I told her, ‘Emily, it’s him,’” he said in the interview.
Moments later she put a tissue up to her face “to get her nose clean, not to wipe away tears. Because there was none,” Marshburn told Grace.
At some point Glass tells Marshburn, “I did Lucas so wrong. I did him wrong,“ according to the recordings.
Wichita police said last week that Marshburn called May 24 to report that he’d found Lucas’ body. He and Glass were still at the bridge when officers arrived, police said.
Glass was arrested on suspicion of interfering with a law enforcement investigation - obstruction of justice - that same day. She was released from jail on Wednesday after Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett announced that his office was not filing charges at this time and the investigation into Lucas’ death was ongoing.
Neither she nor a defense attorney who escorted her out of jail Wednesday answered reporters’ questions.