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The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

Football watch party goes wrong, turns into frozen mystery

Tenagnework Agedie
A mysterious case that invokes the latest season of the hit HBO show “True Detective”, Missouri police found the frozen bodies of a group of men with few clues about how they died.

On January 7, Jordan Willis, 38, was hosting a football watch party at his rented home in Kansas City, MO. Three of these attendees included Ricky Johnson (38), David Harrington (37) and Clayton McGeeney (36). They joined to watch the game between Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers. 

All four men met when they were still in high school, each of whom graduated from Park Hill South High School, located in Riverside, MO. Although they weren’t as close with Willis, they still held a shared interest in football and loved watching the games together. However, this watch party didn’t end the way the men had intended. 

Two whole days went by, and the three men had not been seen or heard from by any of their family members or friends, resulting in concern. People were knocking on Willis’ door, making frantic phone calls to his number, but there were never any answers. One of the men who was also at this party, known as Alex Waemer-Lee, stated that he had left Willis’s home around midnight on the night of January 7 and the men were all watching “Jeopardy!” on the TV. 

Throughout all the chaos and panic that had been going on the past couple of days, one woman finally decided to take matters into her own hands. McGeeney’s fiance, April Mahoney, arrived at Jordan’s doorstep on January 9, but she never received answers to her knocks. She then made the decision to enter into the basement of Willis’ home and began shouting for both Willis as well as the other men. After searching his home, she was shocked when she found all three men in the backyard, frozen to death in the 29-degree weather. Harrington was found on a lawn chair, while McGeeney and Johnson were sprawled out on the grass, covered in snow. Horrified, she made a call to the police.

Willis later answered the door to the officers wearing nothing but boxers and holding a bottle of wine, stunned to find out what happened to his friends, because according to him, he had watched them leave in the early hours of January 8. 

This, however, is unable to be proven. For starters, Johnson’s coat was found still inside the house, which implies that they likely never had intentions of leaving like Willis said they did. Additionally, two of the men’s cars were still in front of Willis’ home. When questioned about why he never answered any phone calls, text messages or knocks at his door by concerned friends and family, he claimed that he hadn’t received any text messages. But he had also been asleep for two days straight, unable to hear any noise. According to him, he sleeps with both a fan and noise-canceling headphones, that’s why he was unable to be awakened. After further investigation, though, there was found to be no foul play at the scene.

On February 1, results came back from a toxicology report on all three men that found each of them had both cocaine and THC along with three times the legal amount of fentanyl in their systems. 

“Cocaine is a stimulant,“ CHHS Science teacher, Ms. Candella stated. “It’ll make you move very quickly and it will heat you up and which is probably why they all went outside. And if they started with the cocaine, they probably went outside to cool off until the fentanyl kicked in and they got sleepy.” 

They may have taken these drugs voluntarily because during the party Waemer-Lee had reportedly texted other friends about drug use that was taking place during the game. Close family members and friends, on the other hand, claim that the three men were very healthy and had never shown any sort of interest in taking drugs. 

In contrast, a day before the results of the toxicology report came back, McGeeney’s cousin, Caleb, claimed that Willis would often discuss how he creates synthetic drugs at his workplace, and on the night of January 7, Willis was pretty ‘f—ed up’. 

Jordan Willis has a Ph.D. and works as an HIV scientist at the Neutralizing Antibody Center in both California and Missouri, so these claims are not very difficult to believe. Despite this, Willis claimed he was very distraught to hear about the deaths of his friends, and even more upset to learn that he was unable to attend any of their funerals due to allegations that he may have been complicit.

Harrington’s father, Jon Harrington, told Fox News Digital that “[Harrington’s mother] and I are both convinced that Jordan Willis played a part in this somehow. We just haven’t figured out how yet.” 

The outrageous circumstances of these men’s deaths have left countless people clueless, and perhaps their loved ones will never receive the answers that they deserve. Willis has since enrolled himself in rehab and allegedly suffers from depression. He has also deleted all accounts from social media platforms due to the harassment he was receiving following this case and no longer rents out the home where the men were found. 

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About the Contributors
Cat Pogreba
Cat Pogreba, Fashion Editor
Cat Pogreba is a senior at Columbia Heights High School, and it's their first year writing and editing for The Heights Herald. She enjoys writing poetry and short stories on occasion, usually about horror-related things or topics that are sure to infuriate her considering that's the best way to have an impactful story. They're not in any school activities or events since they struggle with being socially anxious, although she does enjoy being dramatic and always has fun dressing up / trying new styles.
Tenagnework Agedie
Tenagnework Agedie, Co-Lead Photographer
Tenagnework Agedie is a senior at Columbia Heights High School. She is Co-Lead Photographer and staff writer for The Heights Herald.