Dateline   |  May 17, 2013

'Shattered', Part 2

Amber Hilberling becomes a widow at the age of 19 when her husband Josh crashes through the window of their high rise apartment and fell to his death. And as she describes Josh's horrible fall to her grandmother, Amber says one word that will change the course of her life.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it had been only an hour since josh hilberling died in a horrifying fall from a 25th floor apartment. his wife amber was now at a downtown police station with her grandmother gloria. filled with questions that had no good answers.

>> how did this happen? why did he have to fall out the window? i didn't just lose my husband. jeannie and patrick lost their son. zack lost his brother.

>> airman first class zak hill ber ling, josh's younger brother was serving a tour in afghanistan. he got the news when he logged on to facebook.

>> i called my dad and it was late, 11:00 or 12:00 . the fact that he answered the phone blew my mind. i think the first thing that i said to my dad, tell me that it's not true. but he said it is.

>> zack headed home as the hilberling clan gathered in tulsa to mourn and remember.

>> joshua was my first-born son. he was everything.

>> josh's father patrick and stepmother jeannie.

>> he had a smile. i mean, he could light up a room.

>> i called him joshie. i don't think anybody else is allowed to call him that.

>> is he a mama's boy?

>> he's been accused of that. he'd help me cook and things like that. he had a tender side.

>> that tender mama's boy grew into a strapping 6'4", 220-pound teenager. a star on his high school football team. for an oklahoma kid, that was a very big deal .

>> josh, football was the most exciting friday nights.

>> he was a phenomenal football player. that was his sport and his game. that's his first love.

>> it was back in 2008 when josh met amber at a halloween party. once they started dating, he literally swept her off her feet.

>> what are some of the things he did for you?

>> one night he drove me out to a basketball court at a park in his parents' neighborhood and i didn't know how to dance. so he put me up on his -- the tops of his shoes and danced with me under the stars.

>> things were perfect at first. aren't they always.

>> we were young, passionate. it was nice.

>> josh and amber had been dating for just a few months when he got his marching orders. he was assigned to an air force base in alaska. the young couple faced a crossroads. they wanted to be together so they arranged a quick courthouse wedding. followed later by a lavish country club reception.

>> it was so dorky. i almost passed out i was so nervous. we were both kind of giggling at ourselves more or less.

>> you sound like two teenagers.

>> i mean, yeah, we were.

>> but now amber was at a tulsa police station , no longer a giggling teenage bride. she was a widow and filled with anguish as she poured her heart out.

>> just come back, please. please. i love you. i love you so much.

>> but through the fog of her grief, a story started to emerge. amber told her grandmother she and her husband had been arguing and now she couldn't believe how it ended.

>> no he's not supposed to be. but he's in god's hands.

>> not fair.

>> throughout their gut-wrenching conversation, amber and her grandmother were alone in a police interrogation room talking in confidence, or so they thought. it turns out officer don holloway had been listening the entire time.

>> i was in the other room typing up my report and all of a sudden amber started talking about what had happened.

>> so holloway started recording the conversation. every word, every gesture was being captured when amber said something that would change everything.

>> he was like messing with the tv right here. and the window is right here. and i pushed him and he fell into the window, fell. oh, god.

>> and when through her tears amber said she had pushed josh, her grandmother seemed to sense the gravity of what the words might mean to police.

>> quit saying you pushed him out the window. did you intentionally push --

>> no. of course not.

>> okay. that's what they're going to take it as, baby.

>> was amber 's grandmother right? would homicide detectives think the overwrought teenager was talking about an accident or was she describing something much darker?