Kyle Kearby, 21, died of a suspected drug overdose on Sunday afternoon, just hours after his friends filmed themselves pretending his unconscious body was a puppet
A coroner has slammed two men for their ‘blatant disregard for human life’, after they filmed themselves playing with a friend’s limp body just hours before he died of a drug overdose.
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris was reacting to a clip of Kyle Kearby, 21, who died on Sunday of a suspected drug overdose.
The clip, which was shared to Facebook and has since been taken down, showed one man manipulating his friend’s arms using cords tied around Kearby’s wrists, while another moved the man’s mouth and sang: ‘You’ve got a friend in me’, The Northwest Indiana Times reported.
Kearby arrived at his Indiana home about 5.30am on Sunday morning, a few hours after the video had been taken. He went straight to bed and was pronounced dead at 1.41pm after being taken to hospital.
The clip was reportedly posted at 6.40am on Sunday, with the caption: ‘One of my close friends passed away this morning. Please stop doing drugs. #Fentanyl’.
Heather Anderson, who is Facebook friends with one of the men who posted the clip, and who provided the video to the Times, says when she confronted the man about the video and asked if Kearby was okay, she got a response saying he was home and alive.
The man told Anderson the clip was intended as a wake-up call, and promptly deleted the video.
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris slammed Kearby’s friends for their actions and said the clip was a ‘blatant disregard of human life’ (the friends involved in the video have not been identified)
Harris, the county coroner, has said he believes Kearby died of a drug overdose on Sunday, and his friends should not have been making jokes while their friend was clearly not okay.
He said he was unable to tell if Kearby was alive in the video.
‘That was probably the most blatant disregard for human life that I’ve seen in my life,’ Harris said.
A toxicology report for the 21-year-old will not be available for two weeks.
The men who made the clip, who have not been identified, told police they were just playing, and that they’d made similar videos before.
Kearby arrived home at 5.30am on Sunday and was found in bed at 12.30pm, covered in vomit and not breathing. He was pronounced dead little more than an hour later
Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds said there did not appear to be anything illegal about the videos, and said while it’s possible Kearby’s death was caused by drugs, he also could have died from choking on his own vomit or alcohol poisoning.
Kearby’s parents called emergency services about 12.30pm Sunday after one of them found their son in bed, with a pulse but not breathing.
The young man was covered in his own vomit, and was given naloxone among other life-saving treatments, but nothing worked.
Kearby was remembered on social media for his generous spirit, happy nature, and ‘kind accepting soul’.
His mother shared a photograph of his bedroom door, which was painted with the words: ‘Love is all you need’.
‘This is my son’s bedroom door, it sounds so simple but so hard at the same time,’ she wrote.
‘Hold on to this love, embrace it, we will all be with him again someday in paradise – a place I have no doubt will be filled with tie dyes and Grateful Dead music.
‘Don’t rush this reunion with him, it will be here soon enough.
‘Hold on to the smile my son always had on his face, and smile when you think of it, thank you for your prayers but please don’t tell me you are sorry for our loss.
‘We didn’t lose him, he will live in our hearts until we see him again… until then love remains.’
Kearby’s family have been left devastated by their loss, but say their beloved son will ‘live on in our hearts’. They asked his friends to remember what a loving man he was and to draw happiness, not sadness, from his life