A teenager found dead in an abandoned house in Las Vegas last week was killed while playing Russian roulette.
Matthew Minkler, 17, was with two other teenagers, Jaiden Caruso, 16, and Kody Harlan, 17, when the gun went off. According to the arrest report, the two left Minkler to bleed out on the kitchen floor of the vacant home. They ran from the house but returned to scrub the scene and hide the body in a closet. Detectives found an expletive spray-painted on the closet door.
But Minkler’s family disputes the police account of the events leading up to their son’s death. His mother, Jamie Shanklin told the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
“We know this wasn’t Russian roulette.“
Both teenagers have been charged as adults in the death and Caruso faces a charge of murder with a deadly weapon. Harlan faces charges of accessory to murder after the fact and destroying evidence. Minkler’s body was discovered after Harlan was arrested after a car chase in a stolen Mercedes. He told police he had been involved with a murder earlier in the day and Minkler’s wallet was found inside the stolen car. According to the report, the pair took $300 from the wallet and bought shoes and drugs.
When police searched Caruso’s cellphone, they found several videos from the scene of the shooting with Caruso speaking into the camera,
“Bro, I just caught a body.“
In another video, a voice can be heard in the background asking what to do with the body. Caruso then.
“calmly walks to the kitchen sink, wets his hands and begins to clean his shoes.”
Matthew had just completed his junior year at Silverado High School and was set to graduate next year. He told his family as he was leaving the house on the day he was killed to tell his mother that he loved her.
“My baby never came home.”
(via CBS News)