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Charges in overdose death of teen found buried in the snow

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Charges were filed Thursday in connection with the death of Noah Graddy, 15, who disappeared in January – his body was found in March. Authorities said the southern Minnesota teen died outside on a subzero morning after a night of drug use.

ABC6 in Austin reports Darrian J. Rice, 19, of Kasson, is charged with second-degree manslaughter and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Rice could face up to 11 years in prison if found guilty on both charges.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Dodge County, Rice kicked Graddy out of Rice’s grandmother’s house in the early morning of Jan. 22. WCCO's story says Graddy and two others had gone to the residence on Jan. 21 after purchasing methamphetamine in Rochester earlier that evening. The victim, Rice and two others spent the night in Rice's room, smoking meth and ingesting Triple C – a cocktail of over-the-counter drugs that includes a cough suppressant, a pain reliever and a nasal decongestant.

The complaint says that early the next morning, Rice and another person became irritated with Graddy’s loud and strange behavior. Rice told Graddy to leave his house because he feared his grandmother would wake up. When Graddy left, it was between minus 9 and minus 20 degrees outside.

On March 20, Graddy’s body was found in the fetal position, buried in the snow near railroad tracks east of Kasson. Graddy was known to walk the tracks, which connect Kasson and his home in Byron.

According to an autopsy report, Graddy died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of bupropion, methamphetamine, dextromethorphan, chlorpheniramine and hypothermia due to exposure.

Rice is being held at the Steele County Detention Center in Owatonna and is due back in court in Dodge County on Aug. 20. The Star Tribune notes Rice was convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia in March.

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