An attorney representing the family of Clayton McGeeney, one of three Kansas City men found dead in freezing conditions after an NFL watch party, said his clients need to know whether there was any “intention or malice” in party host Jordan Willis’ behavior in the two days he didn’t report the bodies in his yard.
Tony Kagay told Fox News Digital he would “feel nothing but sympathy” if Willis was “blameless” in the deaths of McGeeney, Ricky Johnson and David Harrington, but Kagay said it would be “very hard to explain” how he could “not realize what happened to his friends” when they were “frozen in his backyard for two days.”
The friends were last seen alive inside Willis’ Northwest 83rd Terrace home after the Kansas City Chiefs’ win against the Los Angeles Chargers on Jan. 7. Although Kagay confirmed that drugs were detected in the men’s systems, according to preliminary toxicology results shared with their loved ones by police, he could not confirm which were found.
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“I think that … if Monday morning [Willis] had realized that his friends had expired overnight and he called 911, I don’t know that this would be a story,” Kagay said on Wednesday. “I don’t know if we’d be talking about it today; it would get a few days in the Kansas City market, and then it would fade away.”
Kagay said McGeeney’s mother, Nancy Bossert, and his fiancée, April Mahoney, attempted to reach McGeeney and then Willis over the two-day period when the men were missing. “Multiple people” in their “close-knit” group of friends that lived within a mile radius made calls and house calls in attempts to find them, Kagay said.
But their deaths weren’t reported until the evening of Jan. 9, when Kagay said Mahoney broke onto Willis’ property out of desperation and discovered one of the men’s bodies. The Kansas City Police Department would find two more bodies behind the home; video recorded by a neighbor shows Willis handcuffed in boxer shorts as police conducted their search.
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It is unclear exactly when or how they died. Kagay said “multiple personal items” belonging to the men that remained in Willis’ home after they died raise further questions.
“How does [Willis] not realize what has happened to his friends? That’s a big part of what the family wants to know,” Kagay said. “We may never have an answer to that, we just might not.”
“It’s very hard to see a scenario where something unusual didn’t happen,” he continued.
Kagay said there has been “disappointment” over the way the KCPD communicated with the press about the men’s deaths; the agency previously told Fox News Digital the deaths were “100 percent not being investigated as… homicides.”
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“I don’t think they were in a position to say that. Clearly there is an ongoing investigation,” Kagay said. “I just don’t know how they made that determination and I don’t know that was helpful to say … when you say there was no sign of foul play, there was no gunshot, no stab wound, but it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t something that occurred was illegal. … I don’t know that was handled in the ideal manner.”
“I’m not saying that anybody did anything intentional,” Kagay said. “[But] I don’t think that it would be required for there to be criminal liability.”
“Regardless of who was responsible, the fact is that three young men who were in good health were celebrating with a friend, each other. They ended up dead,” Kagay said. “One of Nancy’s main concerns is that this not happen to anyone else in the future.”
The media attention that this case has received, Kagay said, has been a “double-edged sword” for his clients. On one hand, they want to “grieve in peace.” On the other, Kagay believes the attention can be used to “apply some gentle but effective pressure” on the KCPD and compel a more thorough investigation.
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When full autopsy and toxicology reports are available and police complete their forensic investigation of electronic devices – at least two of the men’s families have been asked for their son’s phone passwords – the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether criminal charges should be pressed against Willis or Alex Weamer-Lee, a fifth party guest who left the house alive on Jan. 7.
Last week, representatives from the families of Harrington, Johnson and McGeeney met with the prosecutor’s office. Kagay said “prosecutors wanted the family to know this situation was being investigated thoroughly” and that they would “cooperate with the families in the future.”
“There are still a lot of unanswered questions and understandable skepticism as far as an explanation for how this happened,” Kagay said. “There are attempts being made to resolve those questions.”
Kagay also said “some of the family have publicly expressed skepticism” about Willis’ announcement that he checked himself into an inpatient rehabilitation facility after his friends’ deaths.
“The timing could appear to a cynical person to be a bit suspect,” Kagay said. “On the other hand, he may have a substance abuse problem and [needed] to check into rehab.”
But although he said that only the results of the investigation can prove any culpability or lack thereof in the men’s deaths, Kagay’s criminal defense background compels him to wonder about the case in the interim.
“I really want to know where exactly their bodies were discovered. What were they wearing? What was in the house?” Kagay asked. “If there was drug use, was there a cleanup that occurred in those two days [before the bodies were discovered]? Was there paraphernalia in plain view when law enforcement arrived?”
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“A lot of these questions may never be answered in a way that makes people satisfied,” Kagay said.
But McGeeney’s family is patiently awaiting police findings until more information is released and “their position is that we don’t know if [an investigation was] done appropriately or inappropriately because we don’t know how it was done.”
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