Three men freeze to death in a friend's backyard and aren't found for three days

Do you think, if this had been going down in a black neighbourhood, they’d have believed, ‘I was sleeping, didn’t hear the phone?’ Or that they’d have waited three days to search the premises? Probable cause notwithstanding, they’d have found a way. I have a really hard time believing otherwise. When there was no answer on the phone or at the door you think they’d just leave? I can’t believe it would play out this way. Which makes me believe they were invested in leaving this perp time to set the scene.

And yet a speedball is a mix of coke and heroin.

I don’t know about “enough evidence to… arrest him” but “found corpses in your backyard” generally seems like it would merit a search of the house and grounds, particularly if said corpses had recently been in said house.

My wild, speculative, unsupported guess is that casual drug use is high in this community, and none of the responsible authorities wanted to look into this too hard lest their and their own recreational drug supply and use be affected (or become obvious and get them fired). In other words, low-level corruption, but no conspiracy.

I don’t find this persuasive.

Again, as has been pointed out to you before, the corpses were not discovered until three days after they died. The people calling the resident of that house were not the police, but relatives of the victims who were trying to find them, because they were missing. Until the corpses were discovered, there was no police activity or interest, and there was no case to investigate.

The police need probable cause of a criminal offence to get a search warrant for a house.

The fact that someone froze to death outside a house doesn’t itself point to evidence of a criminal offence in the house, if there’s no evidence of foul play.

And that’s what the police said when the bodies were found: that they did not have evidence of foul play from the bodies alone.

To get a search warrant, they would need something more. They may have had suspicions, but the standard for a search warrant is more than mere suspicion.

I susprises me that suspicious deaths aren’t inherently probable cause, but learning that explains a lot about this case!

People who like speedballs generally buy the component drugs separately or in the form of a “one and one” (a hit of H and a hit of C a two-bag bindle) and mix their own; very few dealers if any sell pre-mixed speedballs.

I can see how cases of cross contamination might occur accidentally, but nobody is out there deliberately putting fentanyl into bags of crack or methamphetamine. For what it’s worth, they also look different; meth comes in the form of chunky semitranslucent crystals and their powdered fragments, crack rocks look like–well, like crack rocks, and fent is smoother and talc-y looking, more a powder than a crystal. Either of the first two substances mixed with the latter would be visually obvious to someone who knows what street drugs look like.

This paper supports the notion that contamination or adulteration of stimulants appears restricted to powder forms:

The adjusted prevalence of fentanyl was 12.5% (95% CI: 2.2%, 22.9%) in powder methamphetamine and 14.8% (2.3%, 27.2%) in powder cocaine, with notable geographic variation. Crystalline forms of both methamphetamine (Chisq=57, p<0.001) and cocaine (Chisq=18, p<0.001) were less likely to contain fentanyl: less than 1% of crystal methamphetamine (2/276) and no crack cocaine (0/53). Heroin was present in 6.6% of powder cocaine samples.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871623012231
doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.110985

It’s a high standard to get a search warrant, intentionally so.

To put it another way: the police find three bodies of people frozen* in the outdoors, during a period of apparently cold weather by Kansas City standards.

The bodies have no signs of violence.

What crime would you say that there is probable cause to believe occurred? And what evidence would you say to the judge that there is probable cause to find in the house, with particulars, so it’s not just a fishing expedition in a dwelling house? (Which the law strongly protects from government intrusions.).

Probable cause and particularity are both required by the 4th Amendment, in order to get a warrant to search a house.

But as always, IANAUSL, so dopers like Moriarty and Procrustus and Loach would know better than me.

  • I’m assuming that’s journalese for hypothermia. I doubt that they were literally blocks of ice.

Alright, Canada guy, it was cold enough kill them, okay? That’s plenty cold. No need to pooh-pooh our severe weather. :grinning:

After 3 days outside, who knows? .

And they wouldn’t have had a reason to search unless a family member illegally entered the premises.

Depends on the jurisdiction. There was a case in Kentucky where a no-knock warrant was issued on the word of some guy (“They’re dealing drugs!”) and an innocent woman was shot. Perhaps in the KC area, the standard is higher than in East Podunk, but it all depends on how much time the judge wants to spend on due diligence. Mostly, the police are considered more honest than the average person, at least by the bench, historical record notwithstanding.

latest (non-)update article bumpdate:

6 months after men found dead in Northland backyard, families still await answers