Three men were found dead outside their friend’s Kansas City, Mo., home on Jan. 9, two days after they went over to watch a Chiefs game. Now loved ones are demanding answers following weeks of what they say are inconsistent details from the men’s friend and attorney surrounding the timeline of the mysterious deaths. And news of a fifth man who attended the gathering that night has fueled even more speculation among family and friends.
High school friends Clayton McGeeney, 36, David Harrington, 37, and Ricky Johnson, 38, were found dead in the backyard of the rental home of their friend, Jordan Willis, police said. Willis had invited them to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Los Angeles Chargers.
Two days after the game, McGeeney’s fianceé visited the house to check on him after not hearing from him — and said she found a body on the back porch, the Kansas City Police Department told Yahoo News. She called the police and when officers arrived, they discovered two more dead bodies in the snow-filled backyard.
Conflicting accounts of what really happened that night
On Jan. 20, Willis’s attorney, John Picerno, told a local news outlet that after the game ended, the three men left the house and Willis went to bed. That was the last time Willis saw them, according to Picerno.
But on Jan. 22, an unidentified fifth man — whose presence was not known in earlier accounts of the case — said he was also watching the game at Willis’s house that night. His attorney, Andrew Talge, said his client arrived at the house around 7 p.m. and left at midnight. The man told the local Fox 4 affiliate that Willis, McGeeney, Harrington and Johnson were awake watching Jeopardy! when he left the home.
Picerno confirmed to the news outlet there was a fifth man at his client’s house that day. He said that Willis "got tired and went to sleep while there were these guys in the home, and as I know now there was a couple of other people in the home."
On Jan. 24, Picerno clarified the timeline telling Fox News Digital that the fifth man left the house first. Willis then said goodbye to Johnson, Harrington and McGeeney, before falling asleep on the couch.
But an attorney for Ricky Johnson’s family has called out apparent inconsistencies in the story.
"Initially, he was by himself; now there was a fifth magical person who was at the house," Ross Nigro told Fox News Digital. "The fact that the story has changed significantly makes it seem unbelievable and not trustworthy whatsoever. In addition to Mr. Willis leaving the residence and hiring a criminal defense attorney, those are all signs of someone hiding something," Nigro said.
Yahoo News reached out to Picerno for comment.
Two days of no response
During the days leading up to the discovery of the bodies, Picerno said that Willis worked from home, sleeping most of the time before police arrived, according to USA Today.
Multiple outlets have reported that after concerned friends and family had not heard from the men after the football game, they and the fifth man tried to contact Willis, but he did not respond.
According to the local Fox affiliate, Picerno also acknowledged that two people came to the house but Willis had been sleeping with earbuds near a fan and didn’t hear them.
But Willis answered the door for police when they arrived, wearing just his underwear while gripping an empty glass of wine.
Family say Willis’s story has ‘a lot of holes in it’
A family member told Fox 4 that Willis claimed to them his friends “froze to death.”
But the families have said Willis's account of the night does not add up, including his claim that he slept for most of the two days and did not know there were dead bodies in his yard.
“It’s got a lot of holes in it, like last time he saw them they were leaving the house, but he didn’t know they had left, that doesn’t make much sense," Alan McGeeney, a cousin of Clayton McGeeney told Fox 4.
Jennifer Marquez, Harrington’s mother, told News Nation Now that neither the families nor friends believe Willis’s story.
“He’s not telling the whole story. He’s covering something up,” Marquez alleged in another News Nation report. “If your telling the truth, the story should be the same.”
Ricky Johnson Sr. acknowledged in an interview with Fox News Digital that while his son may have used drugs before, he did not believe the three men “did drugs and fell over dead."
"I’m not going to say that during a game he didn’t have some drinks. But he wasn’t irresponsible that he was going to go outside and freeze to death," continued Johnson.
But Willis’s attorney has pushed back at the accusations that his client was involved in the men’s deaths.
"Jordan had absolutely nothing to do with their deaths. He does not know the timing or manner of their deaths, nor does he know how or when they exited his house," Picerno told CBS News.
"The number one thing that people need to remember from our point of view is that these were his three buddies. If they were in danger, he would’ve helped them," Picerno told Fox News Digital. "If he knew they were out there, he would’ve called the police himself. Anything beyond that is pure speculation."
What police have said
The Kansas City Police Department said they’re probing this case as a “death investigation” and that “no foul play was observed or suspected.”
Willis “was cooperative with detectives the day the deceased were discovered,” the department told Yahoo News via email.
“There have not been any arrests/charges, and no one is in custody. There are no specific threats or concerns for the surrounding community at this time. The next step in the investigation is to receive the findings (preliminary or final) from the medical examiner,” the statement continued.
A local medical examiner conducted autopsies on the bodies and the results are pending.