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19-Year-Old Charged In Death Of Teen Found Buried In Snow

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(credit: Olmsted County Sheriff's Office)

(credit: Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 19-year-old Kasson man is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of a Byron teen, who died outside on a subzero morning after a night of drug use.

According to the Dodge County Attorney’s Office, Darren James Rice is accused of kicking 15-year-old Noah Graddy out of Rice’s grandmother’s house in the early morning of Jan. 22.

Graddy and two others went to Rice’s residence on the night of Jan. 21 after purchasing methamphetamine in Rochester earlier that evening.

The victim, Rice and two others spent the night smoking meth and ingesting Coricidein tablets in Rice’s bedroom. Early the next morning, Rice and one other became irritated with Graddy’s loud and strange behavior.

Rice soon told Graddy to leave his house because he feared his grandmother would wake up. Graddy left, reportedly leaving a note which read, “Thanks for using me until all my money was gone.”

Graddy’s parents filed a theft report on Jan. 19 after $600 in cash was stolen from their locked bedroom closet. They suspected their son was the culprit.

Four days later, they filed a missing person’s report for Graddy. They told authorities that their son hung out with a group of teens from Kasson.

When Graddy left Rice’s Kasson house the morning of Jan 22, it was between minus 9 and minus 20 degrees outside. On March 20, Graddy’s body was found in the fetal position near railroad tracks east of Kasson. He was buried in snow. Graddy was known to walk those tracks to go between Kasson and his home in Byron.

His autopsy report indicated that he died of hypothermia and acute intoxication from the effects of meth, bupropion, dextromethorphan and chlorpheniramine.

Rice is also charged with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He could face up to 11 years in prison if found guilty of both charges.

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