Assassination Plots, Stolen Valor and Domestic Terrorism in Mineral County, Montana
When Angela Mastrovito relocated to Missoula to search for her missing daughter, she never expected an assassin would come to her and confess to a contract on her life. Nor did she expect the hit man to concede that her execution had been ordered by her son-in-law, David Michael Barsotti. It would prove the first of many unwelcome surprises for a grieving mother to endure along the journey of finding her missing daughter. But most surprising of all was law enforcement’s indifference to evidence of domestic violence, stolen valor, domestic terrorism, cyberstalking, witness tampering, aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit arson, and conspiracy to commit murder.
Angela was babysitting grandchildren at her Virginia home on Tuesday 20 July 2021 when she got the text from her son-in-law, David Barsotti, about her daughter’s disappearance: “Hey mom. Police have come over. They say Rebekah’s missing and tell me an old fling allegedly made the 911 call.”
According to authorities, 33 year-old Rebekah Grace Barsotti and her dog, Cerberus were last seen on 20 July 2021 at 2:15 PM after a visit to the Town Pump gas station in Superior, Montana. Angela was told that Rebekah’s vehicle, a Silver 2014 Volkswagen Passat, had been recovered from an Interstate 90 rest stop, that Rebekah’s license and personal effects had been recovered from the nearby shoreline of the Clark Fork River, and that Rebekah herself was last seen wearing shorts and a blue tank top. Authorities alleged they were alerted to the scene following a 911 call that was placed by an “Oregon family” passing through Montana.
Angela and her husband Gerry sprung into action and relocated to Missoula to search for Rebekah. They knew that Rebekah had been trying to escape her abusive marriage and was soon due to appear in court to press charges of domestic violence against her estranged husband. They knew that she’d left her marital home in Superior and relocated to a Missoula area rental to turn over a new leaf. They also knew that Rebekah feared for her safety because of the long-established history of violent behavior by her husband, including an incident where David purportedly shot her television with a firearm during an argument in 2016. The Mastrovitos were also aware that David had threatened to shoot his wife’s hands off, prompting a domestic violence arrest just weeks prior to Rebekah’s sudden disappearance.
What they didn’t know was the extent to which local area law enforcement would go to cover for, and obstruct investigation into, David’s criminal activity. Based on security footage they still won’t release, following a 911 call they still won’t let anyone listen to, during ongoing domestic violence litigation they’ve always refused to acknowledge, authorities claimed Rebekah Barsotti was last seen at the Superior Town Pump, and insist she drowned in the Clark Fork River soon thereafter. But anomalies abound around every detail of the official story spun by law enforcement. Among those anomalies, how David Barsotti slipped through the cracks time and time again when the probable cause to investigate him seemed overwhelming. The evidence makes it clear that this situation wouldn’t be as extraordinary as it is without David Barsotti’s cozy relationships with local law enforcement, who refused to ever consider him a possible suspect.
Rebekah Grace Rose was born on 28 December 1987 in Fredericksburg, VA and raised in Partlow, VA. After moving to Montana in 2007, she married David Barsotti in September of 2015. The marriage was apparently rocky from the start, according to family members. The couple separated in 2016 after David shot her television, but reunited a short time later. Rebekah frequently told family members that the marriage seemed to be on the verge of ending, but would soon thereafter say they were “going to try to work it out.” This cycle repeated several times, and often included Rebekah being kicked out of the marital home for periods of time, sleeping in hotel rooms on a regular basis.
On the morning of 09 March 2021, just two months before Rebekah disappeared, she called the 911 dispatch in Superior, Montana. Dispatcher Anna May with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, received the call at about 12:30 AM and asked, “911. What is your emergency?”
Rebekah replied, “Hi. My husband is threatening my well-being if I do not leave the house that I own. … He has threatened to shoot my hands so I can’t call you the next time he threatens me.” She further tells the dispatcher that David had been drinking and popping pills, that there were weapons in the house and that she feared for her safety.
Mineral County Sheriff Deputy Patrick Nobles was dispatched to the Barsotti’s marital home at 63 Bucko Lane, but before he could get there Rebekah called 911 again to report that David had gone into the house. Upon arrival at the scene, deputy Nobles found Rebekah Barsotti waiting for him outside the residence and got her take of events. Deputy Nobles then entered the home. In the body cam footage of the incident Deputy Nobles can be heard calling out to David, and David calling back to him from the bedroom. Nobles finds David in his room, in bed, “under his blankets, fully clothed, with an empty holster on his hip, handcuffs in his pocket, and weapons in his bedroom,” according to Mineral County prosecutors. After Nobles asked David to get out of bed, Barsotti admitted that a verbal argument had taken place between him and his wife, but when asked about whether he had threatened to shoot Rebekah’s’ hands off, denied it outright.
Nobles asked him, “So did you intend to shoot her hands off?”
David responded. “No! What the hell? Did she say that?”
Nobles said, “Yeah.”
David continued, “Dude, no. Alright. So maybe…dude, no. No. I never. I have no recollection of that at all.”
Nobles asked, “You have no memory of that?”
David said, “None. None.”
Deputy Patrick Nobles ultimately did the right thing, and made the decision to detain David Barsotti in the Mineral County Jail, where he stayed for three nights on charges of Partner/Family Member Assault (PFMA). When breathalyzer was administered at booking, David Barsotti blew a whopping 0.365 BAC. A Standing Order Of No Contact between David and Rebekah also went into motion from this incident.
The next day, on 10 March 2021, Rebekah recorded 2 videos that have since sent chills up the spines of the internet sleuthing community. From Rebekah’s iPhone we see her park her car, chamber a round in her pistol, step out from the car and unlock her front door before entering and clearing her house room by room. She can be heard clearly saying, “If Carlos is here, he’s here to kill me.” She also finds a pistol in the sheets of their bed. Recorded less than 24 hours after the documented domestic violence arrest, this video evidence illustrates how scared Rebekah was to return home.
The day after that, on 11 March 2021, Rebekah was hired in Missoula as a server at a cocktail lounge called PLONK MISSOULA. A month later she’d completed her move into a Missoula area rental. After years of telling her family she was ready to flee this abusive marriage, David’s arrest prompted Rebekah to finally take the leap. As the probability of divorce seemed more likely, so grew the specter of asset division and the sale of their marital home in Superior.
Then the death threats began.
On 04 June 2021 Rebekah sent a text to her mother at 9:40 PM that’s since been made public on the Find Rebekah Barsotti facebook page. Rebekah writes, “For the record, he has threatened to beat me, shoot me, kill my dog, burn the house down, drive my truck into the river….There is zero reason for me to be compliant.” Both Mineral and Missoula County Sheriff’s Departments were made aware of these conversations.
Then on 02 July 2021, something happened on the western edge of the Missoula valley that has since baffled investigators. It seems Rebekah was walking her Belgian Malinois, Cerberus, at Council Groves State Park when some kind of assault took place that involved rocks being thrown at her. Upon returning to her vehicle she discovered the windshield had been smashed. Rebekah’s iPhone recorded pictures of a van near the Clark Fork River and also snapped shots of the vehicle’s license plates and VIN. She wrote an angry note on a sheet of cardboard accusing the van’s occupants of throwing rocks at her and her dog and affixed it to the vehicle. Though law enforcement would ignore this evidence, the Mastrovito’s private detectives ran the plates and tracked down owner of the van. One of David’s truck windows was also coincidentally broken on this particular Friday.
Two weeks later, the last known communications from Rebekah’s phone were logged. In a text conversation made on Friday 16 July 2021, Rebekah conversed with a woman called Bevin Adams to schedule a time to swap the last of the marital property. Bevin Harkins Adams Cook is David Barsotti’s VA caregiver. She is also known to be fanatically loyal to David. Because of the standing No Contact Order, David and Rebekah were prohibited by law from making the exchange directly. Bevin Adams was asked to make the exchange on David’s behalf, and was in touch with Rebekah on this particular Friday about scheduling that exchange.
Text exchanges between Rebekah and a coworker on Monday 19 July 2021 confirm that Rebekah joined her co-workers at another downtown Missoula watering hole called Al’s & Vic’s after work on Sunday 18 July 2021 from approximately midnight to 12:30 AM. Though they didn’t know it at the time, this shifter would be her fellow employees’ final earthly interaction with Rebekah. Throughout that weekend Rebekah’s closest friends expressed grave concern with regards to her situation.
Then on Tuesday, all hell broke loose.
Rebekah had apparently agreed to meet with Bevin Adams on Tuesday 20 July 2021, at a Town Pump in Superior, MT to exchange marital property that included a bong and some cannabis (up to a pound-and-a-half of cannabis according to one source, which law enforcement are alleged to have burned) among other things, inside of a rubber tote.
To reiterate, Rebekah and her husband were still prohibited from meeting in person, necessitating a third party to make the exchange. If the meeting indeed took place as authorities insist it did, this third party was the last person to see Rebekah alive. And since Rebekah is said to have told the caregiver about her plan to visit the Alberton Rocks, Bevin was on a very short list of people who knew where she could be found that afternoon.
Authorities claim that the surveillance footage from Town Pump that day positively confirms Rebekah’s presence there at 2:15 PM, but they won’t disclose the footage, nor have they presented any convincing evidence of this claim to family members. What they have presented to family members does not constitute proof of anything, since the grainy still images from surveillance cameras appear too blurry to confirm much of anything for sure. Nevertheless, law enforcement have always insisted that Rebekah can be seen in the footage, despite the family being unable to identify her from the same images. What’s more, the family’s requests to enhance the images were declined by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities won’t disclose the images to a wider audience and only seized recordings from 2 of the available 12 cameras at Town Pump.
David’s former VA caregiver, Brandy Walker, was initially tasked with making the exchange. At the last minute Brandy was pulled by David who handed the responsibility over to Bevin Adams, his current caregiver. This point cannot be confirmed through witness testimony, however, because Bevin Adams refuses to speak with investigators. She’s not talking about what happened that day with anyone, except maybe David Barsotti.
Recently disclosed surveillance camera footage from David Barsotti’s next-door neighbor in Superior reveals that one of David’s trucks left David’s driveway at 2:09 PM, six minutes prior to the nearby exchange at Town Pump. Though it’s difficult to tell who is driving the vehicle in this footage, it’s very existence calls into question David’s alibi for that day: that he spent the entire day at home.
In the hours following the alleged Town Pump meeting, Mineral County dispatch received a 911 call from an “Oregon family” passing through Montana. What was the emergency? The tourists apparently told dispatch they had found personal effects on the shoreline of the Clark Fork River near Alberton. It’s impossible to know for sure what was said on this alleged 911 call because authorities continue to withhold it to this day.
Depending on which media outlets we choose to believe, the items left on the beach may include Rebekah’s car keys, eyeglasses, sunglasses, flip flops, shirt, cap, dog leash, e-collar remote, lanyard, smart phone, driver’s license and credit card, all folded neatly in an organized pile with the ID and credit card placed in a row on top. These items were found on the east side of the Alberton Climbing Rock. We’ve learned since that her phone was in her vehicle, which had been parked for days. Also found in the vehicle was Rebekah’s purse, lending to a curiosity about why any of her cards and belongings were laid out on the beach to begin with. It’s also important to note that the personal items retrieved from the riverbank were not those exchanged during the alleged Town Pump meeting.
Why anyone would call 911 after merely stumbling across some belongings on a shoreline remains an important question. To this day, nobody but law enforcement has heard the recording of this 911 call or knows exactly when it occurred, leading some to believe that it might not exist at all. But according to the Mineral County Law Round Up from the 28 July 2021 issue of Valley Press, a Deputy responded to “suspicious activity” at Mile Marker 72 on I-90 on the 20th of July 2021. This entry appears next to another “suspicious activity” entry from the same afternoon, just three miles up the road at Mile Marker 75, where again we don’t know much beyond, “Deputy responded”.
Among law enforcement’s response on scene at the beach was Mineral County Sheriff Mike Toth, who declared the crime scene “compromised,” perhaps due to the existence of footprints crisscrossing all around where Rebekah’s belongings were found. Also on scene were Missoula Sheriff Captain Bill Burt and Missoula County Chaplain Lowell Hochhalter. In addition to “serving” Missoula as Chaplain, Hochhalter is also the President and CEO of an organization called the LifeGuard Group that purports to lead the fight against human trafficking, and receives money from Town Pump for doing so.
Rebekah’s car was identified, prompting a massive search that included ground and water teams as well as air support. Even Mike Johnson from Montana River Outfitters joined Rebekah’s brother Antonio for a 40 mile search of the Clark Fork. Search efforts were focused between the town of Alberton and the Alberton Gorge.
Angela Mastrovito was informed that Rebekah’s car was found parked at the St. John’s Fishing Access Recreation Area along the Clark Fork River near Mile Marker 71 in the Interstate 90 corridor, and that Rebekah was now officially considered a missing person. Flashing to her last conversations with Rebekah earlier that month Angela remembered the care package she’d mailed to her daughter full of Christmas ornaments, socks, and dog toys. Overwhelmed with anxiety, Angela wasted no time packing her life up into a suitcase and setting out west for Montana to find her daughter.
On Wednesday 21 July 2021 Rebekah’s brother, Antonio Aletori, filed the official missing person report. Then on Friday 23 July 2021, Angela arrived in Montana with her husband Gerry. That same day, Mineral County Sheriff Mike Toth inexplicably changed Rebekah’s category from “missing person” to “river accident”. Sheriff Toth has cited video evidence recovered from Rebekah’s iPhone as reason for this alteration. The video in question shows Rebekah training Cerberus on the beach, and the time stamps designated the video was recorded on 20 July 2021 at at 3:15 PM, an hour after the alleged Town Pump meeting took place. Rebekah’s associates say this is likely an older video with altered time stamps. Authorities contend that Rebekah dived into the Clark Fork in an attempt to save her floundering dog, who they say, got caught up in the undertow. Officials cling to this narrative despite the absence of any witnesses whatsoever to corroborate any part of it, or the many logical plot holes that researchers have sussed out since.
Possible scenarios other than a potential river accident have yet to be investigated by authorities, despite the fact that a bloody tank top was recovered near this beach, on the land above the Clark Fork River. The article was designated by law enforcement as nothing but a “handkerchief” and quickly locked into evidence where it’s been forgotten ever since. Though Rebekah’s empty vehicle and personal effects prompted a massive search of the river, law enforcement refused to allocate resources to the search of land, which would appear less suspect if it weren’t for the bloody clothing that got swept under the proverbial rug.
The following Monday, on 26 July 2021, the lifeless body of Rebekah’s dog Cerberus was recovered near the town of Tarkio along the northern bank of the Clark Fork River. He was found a whopping ten miles west downriver from where Rebekah’s personal effects were recovered, meaning his body apparently traveled through two Class IV rapids named “Tumbleweed” and “Boat Eater,” as well as a series of twists and turns before making it as far downriver as he did. Based on the mother’s intuition of Angela Mastrovito, the search team entered the river from the Tarkio Fishing Access at Mile Marker 69 and traveled east one mile where they found Cerberus on the riverbank, half submerged. Authorities declared it a drowning despite the fact that an official necropsy to determine the cause of death was never performed. Instead, Rebekah’s parents were told that Cerberus was too badly decomposed for analysis to yield useful information, meaning the dog’s cause of death remains officially unknown.
Why, then, did Mineral County Sheriff Mike Toth publicly announce that a necropsy had been performed, when there is no evidence that medical notes of any kind were ever recorded by anyone? In fact, an x-ray of the dog’s neck seems to be the only record of any kind ever taken of Cerberus’ remains prior to cremation.
Nevertheless, Sheriff Toth called Angela to tell her Cerberus had been sickly and in ill health at the time of his death. Angela knew this wasn’t true, so she asked Toth if he had confirmed this claim with veterinary records. He told her he didn’t need to because, “I trust the person who told me.”
“Well who told you?” Angela asked.
Toth answered, “I don’t need to disclose that.”
“Well you and I both know that there’s only one other person who knew that dog as well as Rebekah,” Angela said. “And that was Rebekah’s husband.” It was at this moment that Angela realized there seemed to be a pre-existing relationship between and Sheriff Toth and his buddy “Dave”.
Because Cerberus’ remains were frozen after recovery, the dog’s collar had become rigidly frozen to the animal’s bloated flesh and impossible to remove, making further analysis even more difficult. But that shouldn’t have deterred authorities from doing their job and treating the body as evidence in an ongoing investigation, instead of nudging Angela toward the possibility of cremation as they did. Even detectives in Missoula County failed to inform the family that the dog’s body might constitute evidence.
A week later, on Wednesday 04 August 2021, the Mastrovitos had another meeting with Sheriff Toth, Undersheriff Cashman and Sergeant Ryan Funke. At this meeting Sergeant Funke admitted to being friends with David.
That same Wednesday, 04 August 2021, David Barsotti had this to say about his wife in a social media conversation with person “X” that was captured via screenshot:
DAVID: “There are things that would make my wife come back from the grave… none are right. And authorities as well as law enforcement have been notified. People will honor her regardless of a raving lunatic mother. And a woman, Melissa, who in 10 years has never heard her name.
X: “So they do know she’s passed over? Why is her mom looking? IDK who Melissa is.”
DAVID: “Yeah … they are positive! But died happy trying to save her dog. Her mother was never a mother to her and is trying to make up for it. Bekah truly despised her…and this shit…this is next level twisted.”
X: “Then why haven’t they told the public they found her? How do you know that she died saving her dog? I thought she’s just missing.”
DAVID: “No foul play nothing but sweetheart letting her dog cool off and she had no idea how to read the water. I was informed on the 21st that it wasn’t a rescue any longer.”
X: “But with no body, we can only hope she’s alive.”
DAVID: “It’s been 14 days without food, shelter, or clean water…her dog drowned in that same current and Bekah couldn’t swim to save her life. All of you please stop. The river will release her when it’s damned good and ready.”
David’s disparaging mention of “a raving lunatic mother. And a woman, Melissa” as dark forces clouding over his ability to properly honor his wife seem misplaced given that these are the two individuals privy to some of the most damning aspects of this situation. The cruel reference to Angela’s grieving mother as a “raving lunatic” raises even greater suspicion.
Sheriff Toth continued stonewalling the requests to bring in outside resources, so Rebekah’s family began gathering funds to privately contract Search And Rescue (SAR) firms Wings of Hope and Northstar K9 to search the river with Cadaver dogs, drones and sonar. Contracting with the family instead of the authorities also allowed for the public disclosure of evidence, which likely would have remained sealed otherwise. Missoula Sheriff Captain Bill Burt also blocked independent search requests made by the family whenever he could.
On Tuesday, 10 August 2021, sonar imaging of the Clark Fork River was submitted to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. The family would later learn that dogs alerted on a specific area of the river prompting the deployment of divers. Sonar images further revealed an image of something five-feet-five-inches long, the exact height of Rebekah Barsotti. Missoula Sheriff Captain Bill Burt declared the mass nothing more than a “pile of rocks” because “technology doesn’t lie” leading him to immediately abort the search on 23 August 2021. We later learned that SAR teams were never provided with a photograph of Rebekah, one of the most fundamental elements of a rescue and recovery mission.
The following day, on Tuesday 24 August 2021, deputy Patrick Nobles’ body cam footage was disclosed in legal discovery. On Sunday 12 September 2021, NBC Montana’s Cynthia Koures provided updates on the river search and announced the upcoming vigil. The following Monday, 13 September 2021, Dateline NBC’s Andrea Cavallier did the same.
On Monday 20 September 2021, Rebekah’s parents held a vigil in Missoula at McCormick Park as a platform to discuss domestic violence. Though Missoula and Mineral County officials continue to deny that Rebekah’s disappearance had anything to do whatsoever with domestic violence, it remains a stubborn truth that David Barsotti was arrested for threatening to shoot her hands off in the weeks prior. David Barsotti’s attorney, Paul Ryan, acknowledged that he was aware of the fact that Rebekah was missing.
On the same day, 20 September 2021, the veteran’s insurance group USAA called Angela to notify her that Rebekah’s policy had been canceled. The news confused Angela, as she had herself paid to extend Rebekah’s coverage through the end of September. “And when I called to inquire they told me that it had been reported to them that she was deceased,” Angela said. She learned that David Barsotti, who was the primary sponsor of the policy, had called USAA to cancel Rebekah’s coverage on the basis that she was now “declared to be deceased.” Angela couldn’t understand how David could know Rebekah was deceased or why he would cancel a policy he wasn’t paying for.
On Wednesday 29 September 2021, Missoula County Sheriffs Office called Rebekah’s parents in for a meeting to notify them that Missoula had decided to transfer Rebekah’s case, requests, and reports all back to Mineral County. Prior to the meeting, Rebekah’s mother reached out to the Director of the Missing Persons Clearing House for Montana to invite him to the meeting, but Missoula’s Undersheriff also called and told him not to come. At that joint meeting, Sheriff Toth also admitted that, “We didn’t know what we had,” yet he remained committed to his “river accident” theory nevertheless.
The following day, 30 September 2021, Sheriff Toth announced that extensive land searches had been performed when they had not. Angela contested the semantics of Toth’s verbiage, asserting that riverbank searches do not constitute land searches.
On Tuesday, 05 October 2021, The Mastrovitos attended a county meeting in Missoula. Sheriff TJ McDermott and Sergeant Ryan Prather told them that Rebekah’s personal effects were on their way back to Mineral County. While attending that meeting, they were E-mailed by Sheriff Toth, and learned that David wanted Rebekah’s guns.
The first recorded death threats against Rebekah’s parents occurred later that month on Halloween, 31 October 2021. An anonymous call was placed informing them of the high combustibility of their trailer, cynically encouraging them to move out for their own safety. The Mastrovitos contacted Missoula area authorities and filed a report with the Missoula City Police Department, only to watch Missoula officials punt the death threat case to the local Sheriff, who punted it over to Mineral County.
In an E-mail sent at 10:36 PM on 04 November 2021, Sergeant Ryan Prather of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office told the family that this separate case had been handed off to Mineral County Attorney Ellen Donohue. The Mastrovitos couldn’t get a response from Donohue, and later learned that she was dating Sheriff Mike Toth. The threat led them to contact several other organizations, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the National Threat Operation Center in Washington DC (NTOC) and the US Marshals Office.
CrimeStoppers officially accepted Rebekah’s case on 08 November 2021, in no small part because of the efforts of a DOJ missing person specialist called Brian Frost.
On Tuesday 16 November 2021, Angela’s sister, Laura Williams, submitted a FOIA request for the 911 call placed on 20 July 2021. After getting the run around, Laura was told she needed to submit an additional application. It was denied some time later, citing “confidential criminal justice information and a pending investigation.” But how can there be interference with a pending criminal investigation if no criminal investigation is ongoing? This seemingly obvious contradiction was fueled by conjecture and speculation. They don’t know what happened, but assume she accidentally drowned without evidence or witnesses. The Montana FOIA attorney admitted to Laura that she would have “to file suit to obtain a copy” of the 911 call, stating further that such a suit would cost “somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10k.”
Ten grand to hear a phone call? But according to Montana law, 911 calls are supposed to be “public criminal justice information” as articulated by Article II, Part II, Section 9, of the Montana Constitution, which states:
“No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents or to observe the deliberations of all public bodies or agencies of state government and its subdivisions, except in cases in which the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.”
At the Mineral County Commissioner’s hearing on Friday 26 November 2021, Sheriff Toth confirmed that he would not disclose who made the 911 call, but that, “The witness that found it says they picked up the driver’s license.”
Someone in the audience asked, “What witness?” to which Toth replied, “We’re not going to tell you, because if you reach out to him, now you’re harassing a witness. We know who he is. We know who the family is. We’re in contact.”
Mineral County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Funke also told family members, point blank, that a young man from Oregon placed the 911 call. Highway Patrol responded to this call but never filled out a report of any kind before passing the bill off to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. And every law enforcement agency seemed to be punting to the other. Highway Patrol punted to Mineral County, Mineral punted to Missoula, Missoula punted back to Mineral, and each provided contradictory information.
There is nothing in the law that grants greater protection to 911 recordings. According to a legal opinion penned by the Attorney General, such recordings may be withheld only “when the demand for individual privacy clearly exceeds the merit of public disclosure,” as is the case with other public documents. Confidential information may be blacked out, but an edited report should be public, including the time, date and location of the call, as well as content.
Until this 911 call is disclosed, we really can’t understand how finding someone’s belongings unattended on a beach constitutes an emergency worth dialing 911 for. It doesn’t make any sense, and insults our intelligence. There’s garbage strewn all along the Clark Fork around Missoula, and nobody bothers making a call to anyone to even complain about the litter. And in a true emergency, one would expect the belongings to be scattered, not folded. So how does a pile of stuff folded neatly on the beach constitute an emergency of any kind? We’ll never know until we hear the 911 call.
As Angela articulated at the County Commissioner’s meeting:
“This scenario is: ‘girl rescues dog’. You are not going to take the time to take your driver’s license and your credit card out of your pocket. You’re not going to take the time – she wore sunglasses all day long, because of a nevus on the cornea of her eye. So she wore sunglasses all day long. So law enforcement looks at the sunglasses and the hat, discarded, as: ‘She threw them off’.”
On Monday, 29 November 2021, the second documented death threat against the Mastrovitos was called in to their lawyer, who was informed that their Virginia home would be burned to the ground. As the death threats continued to mount, Angela noticed some of the harassing calls were being dialed from a Texas area code. After incessantly calling the number back over and over, again and again, a man finally answered. What this man may not have realized at the time he answered his phone was his activation of Face Time, allowing for a glimpse of his likeness.
Angela snapped a few screenshots before informing this man that his identity could now be ascertained and that he would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Then he had a stroke of conscience, admitting that David Barsotti had contracted him to kill Angela and her husband.
The assassin-for-hire revealed himself to be Nathan Jacobsen, who claimed to be David’s former best friend. But after David asked him to burn a house in Virginia and a trailer in Montana, Jacobsen felt as though he was being positioned to take the fall for something awful. So he began recording their phone conversations. Those recordings make it crystal clear that David Barsotti contracted Nathan Jacobsen for the arson of Angela and Gerry Mastrovito’s Virginia home, as well as their late daughter’s Montana rental trailer, with the intention of killing them, or at least intimidating them into flight.
The Mastrovito’s first Private Investigator, John Baker of East Valley Investigative Services, encouraged Jacobsen to record as many of these conversations as he could, and Nathan has since collected 92 such recordings. The audio files provided to the media since confirm David Barsotti’s malicious intent to use incendiary explosives, namely thermite and tannerite, to carry out the assassination of his parents-in-law, and “make it look like an accident.” We also know from the recordings that David provided Nathan with specific orders for executing the dog with a pistol, saying he didn’t want it to perish of smoke inhalation while the parents were suffocating in the next room.
Nathan then received a Christmas present from David, and upon opening the gift was appalled to find Rebekah’s para-cord bracelet (the one she’s wearing from the picture allegedly taken the day she went missing) along with other items he says were obviously sentimental to Rebekah. Nathan again felt the jaws of a trap.
At this point, the Mastrovitos thought they had all the evidence they needed to implicate David as a suspect. But even when evidence surfaced that David Barsotti hired Nathan Jacobsen to assassinate the family and burn down their home, law enforcement still refused to question him or investigate. Even Jacobsen’s text message confession wasn’t enough to elicit law enforcement support: “I was hired as a hit man to kill you and your dog, mercifully like they killed Cerb.”
After Nathan had accumulated his 92 audio files, he appeared on the Williston Trending Topics radio show to publicly acknowledge their existence for the first time on 26 May 2022. Several hours after calling in to give this interview, Nathan Jacobsen was wounded in a gunshot incident. Someone evidently sneaked up behind him at a car wash and fired several shots in his direction, one of which hit him in the right thigh. He was subsequently hospitalized and questioned by law enforcement. Jacobsen says that he’s remained on the move in his car because he fears the repercussions from David, who he says is “capable of anything.”
To make matters worse, Sheriff Toth refused to listen to any of the said audio files, protesting that, “We don’t know that’s David on the tape!” Toth prioritized the artificial need to “verify” the voices as opposed to reviewing the content, further obstructing the family’s efforts to the decided benefit of his buddy, David Barsotti.
On 08 December 2021, Monte Turner of the Mineral Independent announced the Mastrovito’s had increased the reward to $12,000 for information leading directly to Rebekah’s whereabouts.
On Tuesday, 01 February 2022, Gonzo Journalist Travis Mateer of Zoom Town Chronicles located the offices of the Lifeguard Group on the 4th floor of Missoula’s Florence Building. Joe Danzer answered the door expressing familiarity with the Barsotti case. Danzer claimed to have participated in the search for Rebekah, though he could not recall when he apparently searched. He distinguished that his efforts were not affiliated with his official role as LifeGuard’s “search coordinator” because they lacked the resources to conduct official searches. Angela Mastrovito confirmed that LifeGuard never provided any assistance whatsoever. It seemed strangely coincidental for Town Pump – the company owning the station where Rebekah was allegedly last seen alive – to provide LifeGuard with a donation in the amount of $30,000 while all of this was going on.
On Friday, 25 February 2022, Rebekah’s parents held a vigil for their daughter at the Missoula County Courthouse. Angela received harassing calls from David during the vigil demanding access to Rebekah’s storage unit, which apparently contained furniture belonging to him.
Dissatisfied with law enforcement’s termination of the search, the Mastrovitos circumvented the Sheriff’s Office and privately hired Wings of Hope and Northstar K9 search and rescue teams at their own expense. And for the entire month of March 2022, Brad Smith of Wings of Hope, alongside Northstar, searched the Clark Fork River from Alberton Rock to Thompson Falls, Montana. Thirty-one days of combing that river revealed nothing. Angela was told that if Northstar doesn’t find Rebekah, “she’s not in the river.”
The following Wednesday, 02 March 2022, another person close to David Barsotti suddenly died in inexplicable circumstances. Christina Frances Adams died at the age of 28 in Superior, Montana of a mysterious illness. Christina was the daughter of Brandy Walker, David Barsotti’s former VA caregiver and believed by some to have been intimate with David Barsotti, though Brandy Walker denies such a relationship existed. Christina’s funeral service was held on Tuesday, 08 March 2022. Mineral County officials failed to perform an autopsy, and all remaining forensic evidence was thoroughly destroyed upon the subsequent embalming of her body. In another seemingly bizarre twist, Christina’s remains were buried in the back yard of the person she was caring for in Superior.
On Monday, 14 March 2022, Sheriff Toth witnessed David Barsotti tearing Rebekah’s “missing” poster down from light posts around Superior. Toth approached Barsotti and reprimanded him for tearing the posters down. That same day, Toth officially withdrew from the upcoming Sheriff race.
The following day, 15 March 2022, Sheriff Toth placed a call to the Mastrovito’s second private detective, James Terry of Gulfcoast Investigations, about the posters and the reprimand. Toth mentioned that several other people also saw David angrily ripping those posters down. It seems puzzling why a bereaved husband would deliberately tear down posters of his missing wife, until we consider the fact that David’s domestic violence hearing was, at this point, a mere ten days away.
On Friday, 25 March 2022, David Barsotti appeared in Mineral County Court on charges of domestic violence for the incident that occurred 1 year prior, on 09 March 2021. Attendees of that hearing learned many things, among them that David Barsotti had been physically violent and mentally abusive in his previous marriage, which ended in divorce. His previous wife still fears for her life.
It also came out that David Barsotti was never actually in the Marine Corps, the cornerstone of his self-made reputation.
The County Attorney representing Rebekah requested David’s DD214 to authenticate his claims of PTSD and a Traumatic Brain Injury as justification for his behavior that night. But the documents revealed that David never successfully completed basic training and therefore is not a military veteran. According to the County Attorney:
“The defendant claims to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a Traumatic Brain Injury which caused him to trigger from her touch. Yet the evidence will show he did not complete his military service, serving only four months, eleven days in boot camp until receiving a stress fracture in his shoulder lifting weights. He then received an Entry Level Separation from the military. Yet on this evening the defendant told deputy Nobles his trigger was due to his extensive military career.”
Deputy Patrick Nobles was one of two witnesses called to the stand to describe his interaction with David Barsotti the night of David’s arrest and incarceration (Nobles was also fired weeks after making this arrest on “unrelated” adultery accusations). The other was the 911 dispatcher who was asked by David’s defense team about Rebekah’s calm presentation as “proof” that she could not possibly have been in distress, even though she called 911, which is itself a clear sign of distress. David chose to plead the fifth and did not take the stand.
It goes without saying that no one had heard from or seen Rebekah for nearly a year, as she had officially been missing for more than eight months at the time of this hearing. It should also go without saying that it was not possible for Rebekah to legally defend herself. Yet unbelievably, this fact was not allowed to be spoken in court, and the judge refused to acknowledge her missing status. Rebekah’s attorney was explicitly disallowed from saying anything about her official status as a missing person.
On the other hand, David’s attorney, Paul Ryan, was allowed to belittle Rebekah, who “didn’t even bother showing up to her own hearing” – something she couldn’t possibly have done because she was dead. But that didn’t stop David’s defense team from incessantly declaring that, “She’s not even here to share her side!” The only rebuttal allowed to Rebekah’s team was to passively acknowledge that yes, it was true that Rebekah failed to show. Shouldn’t a court of law seem a tad more concerned that a key witness in a domestic abuse case failed to appear because she had gone missing?
How convenient for David Barsotti.
In the end, a jury of seven peers found David “not guilty” and his charges were dismissed. The state failed to push harder, and Deputy County Attorney Debra Jackson called neither of her two available witnesses. One of those witnesses was an ex-girlfriend of David’s that could testify to his abusive treatment and the fact that she still fears him. The other could have testified to the fact that David Barsotti admitted to her that he watched his wife, Rebekah, drown in the river. Both witnesses remained conspicuously absent from the stand, perhaps because their testimony could violate the court’s standing order to keep Rebekah’s missing status on the hush-hush.
David Barsotti presents as Marine Corps Special Ops, wears an eye patch, walks with a limp, tells war stories and receives VA benefits. He also claims to have lost 27 men under his command as a Marine Corps Sergeant and to have worked as a private military contractor for Blackwater Worldwide, the world’s largest mercenary army. He further attests that his companies, Black Thorn Enterprises and Erebus, were his means of doing business in that world.
But his eye patch switches between the left and right eye and often ends up on his forehead during social occasions, illustrating that David has both eyes despite stories he’s told about a “pit” in his skull. His characteristic limp is likewise demonstrably fabricated, as it comes and goes and switches legs depending on where he is and who is observing him. According to DD214’s released in Mineral County Court, David Barsotti only served 4 months and 11 days, and never completed basic training. So how he ever became eligible for VA benefits remains a question.
Barsotti’s next-door neighbor, retired Marine veteran Jason Maxwell, was among those in attendance at the domestic violence hearing. When he learned that David was a case of stolen valor, Maxwell made some calls to get David’s DV plates revoked, and is now in contact with the VA Division of Criminal Investigation.
David currently enjoys a pension, a VA Home Loan, two Disabled Veterans license plates, and his third paid VA caregiver. The first was his wife Rebekah Barsotti; the second was Brandy Walker; the third was Bevin Adams of Florence, Montana. Friends and acquaintances were keen to note David’s change in referring to Rebekah as his caregiver rather than as his wife after she accepted the position. Rebekah became David’s caregiver sometime during 2019 and sincerely believed he was a disabled Marine, as we can see in a 2018 picture from her Instagram account captioned “My Marine” of David Barsotti on a truck in an oil field.
Eligibility for paid VA caregivers is determined by a veteran’s inability to drive, or dress, or feed them self. Recently uploaded TikTok videos show Barsotti vigorously training his dogs with attack commands while wearing a bite suit, as well as driving and parking his truck in a handicap spot. Maxwell says, “I’ve never seen him once need help with anything,” citing a wedding where David stayed up all night with his friend Carlos roasting a pig. Maxwell further states that any “disabilities” David might have were sustained from civilian work and recreational activities.
A man that once worked for David Barsotti when he owned Treadstone Construction Company has confirmed the estranged husband provides different versions of his military lies, describing him as a pathological liar and a narcissistic sociopath.
Stolen valor isn’t just a dishonorable practice, it’s also a criminal offense. Given the magnitude of skulduggery emanating from 63 Bucko Lane, it seems ever more curious that law enforcement neglected to investigate David Barsotti.
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
Sheriff Mike Toth has personally informed the Mastrovitos that David Barsotti is not a person of interest, and “would never be a person of interest,” let alone a suspect, because he has an alibi for 20 July. Toth further informed the family that he had no intentions to search for their daughter because she was, “not the President of the United States.” He stated further, “I wasn’t even going to look for your daughter but my deputy insisted.”
Rebekah’s case was never treated as a criminal investigation, yet authorities impounded her car and confiscated her laptop on the grounds that it “could be” an impending criminal investigation. Despite glaring evidence of foul play, Sheriff Mike Toth labeled Rebekah’s disappearance an “accidental drowning in a river accident” before ever finding any evidence to fit that conclusion. They stated from day one that Rebekah drowned trying to save her dog after Cerberus got caught up in the current. It seems strange, then, that officers would withhold property as “evidence” if no criminal investigation was ever declared.
How Rebekah’s disappearance came to be viewed as an accidental drowning defies logic, since David repeatedly threatened to drown her and the dog. That authorities were able to immediately dismiss even the possibility of foul play seems fantastic given that David clearly violated the restraining order by making death threats against his wife, who went missing soon thereafter. It seems suspicious that David was never considered a suspect or even a “person of interest”.
But the contradictions don’t end there.
Sheriff Toth complained about the limitations of his department’s resources to be able to conduct searches but then actively swatted down all the additional help that the family were attempting to bring in. MCSO alleged that they’d depleted their resources on the water search and did not have the resources to conduct land searches for evidence on the surrounding riverbanks and forests.
“Despite law enforcement’s confidence that Barsotti drowned, Sheriff Toth says his department still follows every credible lead they receive, but he noted it’s a big county, and finding Rebekah is just one of their many responsibilities. “We have a county that stretches 77 miles on the interstate all the way to the state line. I have six road deputies and then myself and the Undersheriff to handle calls, and you know, we’re stretched thin,” Sheriff Toth noted.”
As of the 2020 census, the population of Superior was recorded at 897. It is true that Mineral County has neither detectives nor investigators, and were forced to temporarily close their jail in 2019 due to lack of personnel and funding. Since jurisdiction of this case belongs to the Sheriff’s Office, and since all additional help must be invited in by the Sheriff, it’s their prerogative whether or not to allow additional search and rescue resources in. So then if Sheriff Toth was stretched as thin as he complained he was, why not invite in additional agencies like FBI or DCI, as he repeatedly pledged at the County Commissioner’s hearing? And why didn’t he invite in nonprofit SAR groups when they’d already been hired and paid for on the family’s dime? Many nonprofit groups offered to help but were not invited, despite the fact that doing so would have cost Toth’s department nothing. It seems further perplexing that Mike Toth was willing to work with other Sheriffs and even psychics in the past during his time as a PI, but refuses to work with either as Sheriff.
Rebekah’s case remained inactive but open for months; inactive, due to the lack of leads, but open, thus allowing for the continued withholding of evidence. According to Mineral County Undersheriff Wayne Cashman’s circular logic, they couldn’t disclose any of the available evidence due to the potential of a pending criminal investigation, which they wouldn’t open, because they didn’t have probable cause, due to a lack of evidence. They can’t release the evidence because they don’t have it? In legal circles we call this “Schrödinger’s exhibit 22”; a vial of evidence is sealed in an investigation with a potential murder victim, who both is and isn’t dead. And while it would seem that Mineral County would have to be corrupt to keep from opening an investigation where evidence of criminal activity exists, by their logic, refusing to disclose evidence in order to protect the integrity of a potential investigation itself constitutes evidence that County authorities are not corrupt.
Then there’s the case of the magical, disappearing/reappearing affidavit of probable cause from Rebekah’s 09 March 2021 domestic violence 911 call. Copies of the PFMA and No Contact Order were conveniently misfiled, making them impossible to obtain for 6 months. When the Mastrovitos requested copies of public documents on 16 August 2021, they were informed that none were available. It was only after a savvy reporter finally located them that they were published in the media on 22 September 2021, whereupon the public were able to finally learn that David told Rebekah he would “shoot her hands off.” Of course, the body mechanics of holding a person down by their wrist with one hand while shooting their immobilized digits off with a pistol held in the other, seems like something difficult to accomplish alone. Then we learned that David had a pair of Peerless handcuffs in his pocket when deputy Patrick Nobles entered the marital home.
Nathan Jacobsen confirms David Barsotti’s close personal friendship to Sheriff Mike Toth:
“They talk, hang out. The sheriff coaches him on what to say. … They’re protecting him since day one, and they’ll continue protecting him. He’s in good. I’ve got audio files of him chumming it up with them. … And he’s always talked about how they would watch his back. They always inform him before they do the parents, and they always coach him on what he should say or do, or not say or do.”
It starts to make sense why law enforcement might refuse to question this man about what happened to his missing wife, even though he should be considered, by procedural norm, the prime suspect.
Mike Toth ran for Sheriff several years ago and lost. In the summer of 2020, then-Sheriff Mike Boone announced his retirement, necessitating a new election, per Montana law. But Mineral County bureaucrats encouraged Boone to stay on so they could appoint Mike Toth instead. According to an article written in the Valley Tribune by Monte Turner from July 2020, “Toth owns a security guard company and is a licensed private investigator in Montana.” But isn’t it a conflict of interest to run a security company and work as a licensed private investigator on the side while also serving as Sheriff? Isn’t it a “fundamental conflict” when that same non-elected Sheriff also serves as the County Coroner? How about when that same Sheriff also happens to be dating the County Attorney, Ellen Donohue?
Does any of this seem problematic when the same Sheriff is known to be close friends with David Barsotti? Sheriff Mike Toth himself admitted to James Terry that he advised David Barsotti against searching for his wife.
“Yes,” said Toth. “I told David not to search for his wife, because if he found her it wouldn’t look good.” And David Barsotti had boasted on many occasions that he was friends with “the department,” and also seemed close to Mineral County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Funk, a man with connections to a poaching group known as Coyote Club. Angela Mastrovito has since described her first encounter with deputy Funke as being characterized by the phrase, “There’s nothing to see here.”
David Barsotti’s primary alibi that he was at home on the afternoon of 20 July 2021 was backed up by local jailer and “human trafficking police officer” Chris Kemp, a military veteran known around Superior as Sheriff Toth’s right-hand-man, who fetches the Sheriff’s lunch on a daily basis. His wife, Lynette Kemp, corroborates David’s primary alibi.
David Barsotti now finds himself the proud owner of at least two conflicting alibis. The first, recorded by law enforcement, states David was having a barbecue at home with the Kemps and several others on 20 July 2021. But he has informed at least two individuals of his extraordinary distress after “watching his wife drown in the river.” Due to the consequences inherent in violating the restraining order, he apparently had a friend make the 911 call. David spilled this alternative alibi to both a budtender at the St. Regis Starbuds, and a tobacconist at Missoula’s Bell Pipe Shop. The innocent do not change their stories, so the existence of an alternative alibi seems as disturbing as the content itself. As of this writing, David Barsotti has vomited up least two additional documented alibis that also conflict with the two just outlined.
Rebekah’s family asked for the search of the marital residence and property and were told there was no probable cause to do that. The Barsotti’s marital home sits on the banks of the Clark Fork riverfront, downriver from and to the west of the beach where Cerberus was found, as well as the beach where Rebekah’s belongings were recovered. Nathan Jacobsen avows that this Clark Fork riverfront property constitutes the primary motivation for all the nefarious behavior.
According to Barsotti’s next-door neighbor Jason Maxwell, Rebekah had talked about initiating divorce proceedings for years. The couple had never signed a prenuptial agreement, meaning said proceedings would inevitably lead to estate asset division. That meant selling the marital home, or one partner paying out the other to keep it. In any event, she was ready to leave and wanted half of everything, including the house with her name on it. She was legally entitled to that, but David didn’t want to give it up. He demanded Rebekah sign a Quit Claim Deed and relinquish the mortgage equity over to him, but she wasn’t giving up her share of 50% either.
Following the 25 March 2022 domestic violence hearing, the Mastrovito’s finally got clearance to search Rebekah’s impounded Volkswagen with privately hired cadaver dog teams. They found things that even the Sheriffs missed, including her pistol in the driver’s side door. This was the family’s last chance to search Rebekah’s vehicle, as law enforcement returned the Volkswagen over to David Barsotti on Monday 04 April 2022.
Then on 28 March 2022 Angela’s second private investigator, James Terry, appeared on the Williston Trending Topics radio show for the first time to discuss Rebekah’s case, saying “It’s not just a missing person case – it will make your hair stand on end!” During this interview, Mr. Terry disclosed the fact that Mr. Barsotti’s alibi had become suspect after David told several individuals that he “watched his wife drown in the Clark Fork River.” Following this recorded radio interview, the witnesses whom David had told his alternative alibi to began receiving calls and voice messages from David on their private numbers, which they had not provided to David. The tobacconist’s 8-minute sworn testimony had already been recorded by attorney Spencer Bradford. And though Deputy Ryan Funke attempted to discredit these witnesses, their stories haven’t changed one bit, unlike Mr. Barsotti’s.
On Sunday 08 May 2022 sonar images were published online. The frames in question recorded a 5’5” mass that law enforcement described as a “pile of rocks.”
A week later, on Tuesday 17 May 2022, Sergeant Ryan Funke informed the Mastrovitos that a body had been recovered after it was located by a 26 year-old fisherman named “Nate,” but could not yet positively identify it as their daughter. Nate the fisherman happens to be the son of Tina Alexander, the Realtor who sold David Barsotti his Clark Fork riverfront home. The parents were not allowed to identify the body until David Barsotti had done so, and the Montana Crime Lab told family members they could view the body at the funeral home later.
Sergeant Ryan Funke also let it slip that the body had been “placed” on the banks of the Clark Fork, where it was located just 5 miles from the Barsotti’s marital home. It was noted that the body found was in extremely good condition, “like it had been frozen,” having undergone far less decomposition than the dog that was recovered ten months prior. The dog was covered in insects and bugs upon recovery, but Rebekah was recovered bug-free nearly a year later. It was reported that a segment of Rebekah’s index finger had become “skeletonized” up to the second knuckle but that her body was otherwise intact.
Sheriff Toth appeared on a radio show soon thereafter to tell the world that Rebekah’s “body was not stabbed and not shot.” Toth further stated, “Everything’s matching that she probably drowned,” but conceded that the official manner and cause of death could not be publicly released.
CONNECTIONS TO DOMESTIC TERRORISTS
Angela and Gerry vacated Rebekah’s trailer by 01 April 2022 following a court order secured by David Barsotti to seize what furniture remained, including Rebekah’s mattress. They moved out, and when David showed up at the trailer to haul the load, investigators had the property under surveillance. They observed David’s limp magically disappear as he and another man made trips gathering the furniture. They also ascertained the identity of David’s help as one, Steven Barry.
Sergeant First Class Steven M. Barry was an instructor at the US Army’s Special Warfare Center before he became the editor of a “political warfare journal” called The Resister following the FBI’s murder of Randy Weaver’s family in 1992.
“When McVeigh was arrested earlier in 1995, a few days after the Oklahoma City bombing, police had found a photocopy of The Resister in his car. The copy, it turned out, was one of about 900 sent out free by Soldier of Fortune as part of a promotional package. Like the rest of the free Resisters, McVeigh’s copy carried a fax signature — a number that the FBI easily traced to a Colorado convenience store used by Pate to fax documents to Soldier of Fortune. FBI officials followed the trail to the store, then to Pate and finally to Barry.”
The feds were investigating Barry in 1996 but allowed his operation to continue because it helped them identify other extremists via The Resister’s subscribers. They even placed a DELTA soldier known to be sympathetic to Barry under surveillance and purposely leaked classified information to him in hopes it would lead to Barry, which it did. He was stripped of his security clearance on 06 March 1996 and his commanding officer at 3rd Special Forces Group, Colonel Mark Boyatt, condemned Barry, for his distribution of “operationally sensitive” classified materials:
“Your apparent disregard for the protection of sensitive information which could be used to cause the injury or death of your fellow soldiers is reprehensible,” Boyatt wrote. “[Y]our distribution of [The Resister] … causes me to question your loyalty and future value to the United States Army.”
Steven Barry was recently observed entering Grant Bailey’s antique shop in Stevensville, Montana. The owner of this antique’s shop, Grant “Jay” Bailey, also owns a Pawn Shop in Superior, where he lives with his wife Amy Bailey, who owns a gun store in the same town.
Grant Bailey is also the informant “witness” who told James Terry a fantastic story about fishing on the Clark Fork River last summer, during the afternoon of 20 July 2021. He says that at “about lunchtime” he remembers seeing seeing a black dog matching Cerberus’ description running along the bank in pursuit of a raft making its way down the river. In this raft, Jay says, were two men and another figure who was laying down between them.
Grant Bailey was also a witness to a Polson murder in 2017, where his testimony came into question due to the fact that he was and is, legally blind. When Grant told this story to Angela Mastrovito, she asked him, “With all due respect, if you’re legally blind, how did you see this?”
He replied, “Well, I’m 99% sure.”
So the one and only witness of the “dog chases raft” theory is a legally blind man who runs guns with his wife and has affiliations with the propagandist upon whom Timothy McVeigh relied to carry out his actions. Yet it seems unlikely that a legally blind man could provide credible witness testimony of sightings. MCSO doesn’t take him seriously either.
Given the available evidence, every aspect of the official story presented by authorities insults our intelligence. By their version of events, Bevin Adams was the last person to see Rebekah alive. But unless Bevin is willing to testify that she actually saw Rebekah that day, investigators will continue chasing a figment of someone else’s imagination.
It seems likely that Rebekah went missing prior to the twentieth of July for many reasons. Among them, the likelihood that a trinket exchange spiraled into a missing person declaration within a matter of just two hours seems relatively slim. But since the official story revolves around that date there’s a time hole obfuscating the available evidence.
Over the past year Rebekah’s family have traveled thousands of miles, spent a fortune, and endured unspeakable despair in the pursuit of finding their missing loved one. As if death threats and litigation weren’t enough to add to an already stressful load, Angela was accused of making a career from, and profiting off of, her daughter, because of the existence of Go Fund Me accounts. She was accosted at a Mineral County Courthouse vigil and told by one particularly angry individual that Rebekah’s flier had no place near the local hotel, and its shredded remains were shaken angrily in her face before they were crumpled into a ball and cast at Angela’s feet. In the face of all this adversity, Angela has only become more determined to reject the ridiculous version of events presented by authorities who are demonstrably compromised.
With regards to Rebekah’s estranged husband, the evidence to justify probable cause in this case seems overwhelming. The PFMA. The arson hit on Rebekah’s parents. The assassin’s confession. The 92 taped conversations. David’s repeated threats to drown Rebekah and her dog. The “missing” posters he tore down. His duplicitous alibis. The bloody tank top recovered from near the beach where Rebekah’s belongings were found. The demonstrable witness tampering of active cases. The subsequent death of potential witnesses.
Then there’s this November 2018 article from Wisconsin’s Tomah Journal entitled “Man Accused of Pointing Pistol in Buckley Park” which describes a man named David Barsotti accosted a couple in a park after his German Shepherd ran at their dogs:
“The couple told police that Barsotti then lifted his shirt, pulled a gun from a holster, and drew the slide back. The woman said Barsotti pointed the gun at her, which made her fear for her life. She placed a call to 911 which she said Barsotti made no attempt to stop. The report said that the two other people witnessed Barsotti point the pistol.”
David likes his guns, and was facing a domestic violence conviction following his March ninth arrest, which would have permanently revoked all of his firearm rights. The Jacobsen recordings make it clear that David seemed more upset that his firearms were confiscated than he was about his missing wife. It also appears that David has dabbled in the business of gun running as well, saying with regards to his confiscated firearms, “I’ve got those deals going on all the time.” Would protecting those guns –and more broadly, David’s legal access to firearms– be motive enough to kill for?
James Terry offered David Barsotti $15,000 if he could pass a ten-question polygraph test. All three of David’s lawyers were offered the same deal, and all four of them complained to Sheriff Toth that James was harassing them. Since polygraphs are not admissible in court, David would have nothing to lose by taking one. Then again, David Barsotti hasn’t made much of an effort to prove his innocence. From day one he’s insisted that Rebekah was dead instead of missing, and even got a memorial tattoo penned into his flesh months prior to the discovery of her body.
Jason Maxwell also believes “the whole river accident is just a decoy” and that Rebekah’s body was stored in a chest freezer, perhaps in the “secret room” of David’s basement. In an interview with Lauren Matthias of Hidden True Crime, Maxwell says, “I haven’t seen pictures of the state of Rebekah, but from what I understand, there wasn’t the decomposition or damage we’d expect from 26 miles in the river over a 10 month period. So I think she could have been in freezer or somewhere cool. And once that high water starts coming up in the spring, that water is fast. So now instead of being in Mineral County, they’re going to be finding a body down in Flathead, which is quite a ways – two rivers over. And he was under the impression that, ‘Hey! If I can throw her over the bridge here, nobody’s going to find her until she ends up in Flathead County.’ Well that river dropped pretty suddenly because of the lack of rain, so that water level dropped. The fisherman wound up finding her in some bushes, 300 yards down from the bridge.”
Nathan Jacobsen likewise alluded to the possibility that Rebekah’s body had been frozen. When asked point blank by James Terry, “You believe, unequivocally, that he killed her?” Jacobsen responded: “He did it. There’s no doubt in my mind.” Nathan said he first suspected foul play when David told him, “She crossed that line. And it’s a line you should never cross, and she’ll never cross it again.”
Jacobsen believes the primary motive driving foul play lies with the marital property, and describes Barsotti as paranoid to leave the house for fear of its seizure or destruction. “Everything comes down to the house,” he says. “I’m telling you. Look, Bekah wanted to take the house. And he killed her. It comes down to the house and the property. That man will die for that fucking property.”
Researchers of domestic violence are keen to note that the most dangerous moment for a survivor is the period of time following the filing of a no contact order against their former abuser. In the weeks leading up to her disappearance, David continued making threats through text conversations that involved drowning Rebekah and her dog. It seems positively flabbergasting that documented evidence of egregious abuse and death threats led to an arrest that went to trial, and when the victim went missing, Montana’s intrepid law enforcement officers immediately ruled it an “accidental drowning”.
A common thread among those who’ve studied this case is the unanimous agreement that law enforcement did not handle it properly, mishandling the case from the very beginning. Illustrating the stark contrast between Rebekah’s case and a similar case that occurred during the same year, a woman reported missing on December 31, 2021 got DCI help after twelve days and was found after twenty.
Conversely, when it came to Rebekah’s disappearance, law enforcement didn’t secure the scene, take forensics, or task dogs with a search. They refused to release information vital to the investigation, failed to respond to known data points, and obstructed justice at every turn. And whether deliberate negligence or pitiful incompetence, the conspicuous obstruction by law enforcement seems the most destructive and heinous facet of this entire situation.
Two missing cases, but only one of them handled promptly and honestly.
If an assassin can confess to the targets he was hired to neutralize that he was summoned by their son-in-law to kill them, and law enforcement not only refuses to investigate, but outright stonewalls the investigation with truly egregious levels of obstruction, one can’t help but wonder, “Who do you call when no one cares?” And as Nathan Jacobsen says: “Country boys protect their own.”
But Angela Mastrovito has come to a different conclusion through all of this. In a recent interview with MTN News, Angela said, with tears welling up in her eyes, “I used to think that if I had to stand alone, I could stand alone and do it. This has taught me that we’re not supposed to stand alone.”
Angela’s resolve to continue fighting in the face of overwhelming grief and insurmountable odds has inspired an underground wellspring of support. People from all over the world have been touched by her story, and more are joining the fight every day to help secure justice for Rebekah. And though Angela will never meet them, she should know that there are countless people who have cried with her, mourned with her, and committed themselves to helping her in whatever capacity they can. This growing community understands that a “threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and that threats to justice should never be tolerated. While the truth can never bring Rebekah back, it may help to prevent her tragic story from repeating.