Police looking at link between missing man and drug dealer

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, February 9, 2017

JANESVILLE—Police are looking into the connection between a man recently arrested on drug-dealing charges and Jordan “Deets” White, the 23-year-old whose body was found in the Rock River on Jan. 1

White had been missing since Nov. 8, when he left his south-side home to meet someone on the east side, saying he would return soon, police have said.

A search warrant affidavit filed in Rock County Court identifies the person White was going to meet. He is the same man who was later arrested and charged with dealing drugs.

The dealer is not a suspect in White's disappearance, said Lt. Terry Sheridan of the Janesville police detectives.

Police are trying to corroborate information received early in the investigation and trying to discover how White ended up in the river, Sheridan added.

A family member contacted police Nov. 14 with concerns about White being missing.

The family member said he had gone through White's Facebook messages and discovered White had arranged to trade three packs of Newport cigarettes for synthetic cannabinoids, which are illicit drugs, according to the search warrant.

White wrote in one of his messages: “B there in about half hour coming from the south side,” according to the document.

The family member told police White “was a frequent abuser of synthetic cannabinoids as well as cough medicine,” the documents states.

Another family member corroborated much of this information, according to the document.

Synthetic cannabinoids, which often come in colorful packets with names such as Spice, K2 and Space Monkey, have a wide range of symptoms, from elevated mood and relaxation to delusional thinking, detachment from reality, anxiety, confusion, paranoia and hallucinations, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The drugs are a number of different but related psychoactive substances sometimes sold as “herbal incense.”

The drugs are sometimes sprayed on plant material so they can be smoked. Authorities warn the potency of these drugs can vary widely, and research into the many variants is scant.

The man admitted selling the drugs to White on a few occasions over the previous two months. He told police White did not show up that day and never contacted him again, according to the document.

Police said at the time White's body was examined that there were no indications of foul play.

Police are still waiting for a toxicology report, which could show whether any substance in White's body might have contributed to his death, Sheridan said.

The pathologist on the case is aware of the possible role of synthetic cannabinoids and will check for their presence, Sheridan added.

But even if the drugs do show up, “It's not going to prove that's how he fell in the river,” Sheridan said. “It's just going to be one piece of the puzzle.”

If police are going to solve the mystery, “we're only going to get that by talking to people, at this point, or at least that's the way it appears,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan said police welcome any information people might have about the case.

The Gazette contacted Teresa White, Jordan's stepmother, to let the family know this article would be published. She asked that the article make clear that the family did not ask for the coverage and that the family did not supply any information for it.

Last updated: 3:24 pm Thursday, February 9, 2017

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