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Search warrant suggests deaths at central Columbia home involve drugs, eyeing murder charges


A search warrant filed in relation to the deaths of two people at a central Columbia home on Nov. 9 indicates that the deaths could have involved drugs.

The document says the evidence in the home could support second-degree murder charges.

Former Cole County Prosecutor Bill Tackett called the circumstances of the deaths "rare."

"You don't have two people overdosing and dying in the same place at the same time very often, that's extremely rare," Tackett said.

According to the warrant affidavit obtained by ABC 17 News, officers found an unidentified male and female dead in the entryway of the front door of the house. Officers saw syringe caps on the front steps of the house and in the yard, the warrant states.

Two people were found dead at a home in the 500 block of Woodlawn Avenue. Columbia Police Department spokesman Christian Tabak said at the scene that police were initially called for a welfare check. Police have not released the names of those that died or the causes of their death.

According to the search warrant, officers allegedly found a syringe, needle caps, liquor bottles, a "narcotic smoking device" and an "unknown white substance."

Tackett noted that if someone were going to be charged with murder, the first thing police need to do is determine whether or not a murder occurred. Tackett said the next course of action would be obtaining the deceased's cellphones to see who they were in contact with prior to their deaths.

"Well the first thing you have to do is determine whether a murder happened," Tackett said. "But then, it becomes a series of law enforcement tools... search warrants for sure, search warrants for phone records, find out who they were in contact with prior to the death."

In the document, police were looking for cellphone evidence and possible video surveillance.

However, Tackett said that police cannot obtain their phones without a judge finding probable cause that a murder did occur. From there, police would attempt to speak to the people they were in contact with and interview them.

According to Tackett, the investigation into these deaths will likely be a long process, especially given there is no suspect in question and no arrests have been made.

"I mean these guys are in for a lot of legwork to try and determine if this was a murder, if a homicide was involved, and then to develop a suspect," Tackett said.

ABC 17 News reached out to the Columbia Police Department.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Ryan Shiner

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.

Nia Hinson


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