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Fentanyl death leads to murder charge

Local man arrested for supplying deadly capsules

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A Warsaw man has been charged with murder in connection with a Sedalia man's drug overdose death in 2021.

According to a Sedalia Police Department news release, on Aug. 23, 2021, Sedalia police officers responded to the 200 block of South Quincy Avenue for a report of a man who was not breathing. The officers, along with members of the Pettis County Ambulance District and Sedalia Fire Department, began life-saving measures, but after extensive efforts, 24-year-old Micah Munro was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The release states responding officers and members of the SPD Crime Resolution Unit immediately began gathering information to determine the cause of death. Through interviews with individuals on scene, it was determined Munro had a possible substance use disorder involving opiates. Toxicology reports later confirmed fentanyl to be the cause of death. 

Through the following months, detectives continued to investigate the source of the fentanyl and were able to identify the individual who supplied Munro with the fentanyl capsules just hours before his death.

The investigation identified the supplier as 30-year-old Nathan L. Riga. On Tuesday, Riga was arrested by members of the Crime Resolution Unit for delivering the controlled substance to Munro that ultimately resulted in his death. 

Detectives worked closely with the Pettis County Prosecutor's Office to ensure all necessary measures were taken to reach this result. On Wednesday, Pettis County Prosecutor Phillip Sawyer filed charges of second-degree murder, delivery of a controlled substance, and tampering with physical evidence.

According to online court records, Riga was issued a no-bond warrant. He was arraigned in Pettis County Circuit Court on Wednesday. A hearing is scheduled for March 8 for attorney status.

In the news release, the Sedalia Police Department stated it looks thoroughly into all deaths of this nature, but the outcome of the investigation is often dependent upon numerous factors that often make this type of end result difficult to reach.

The Sedalia Police Department said that by working with the Pettis County Prosecutor's Office and other local law enforcement agencies, it will continue to prioritize and seek out individuals responsible for bringing harmful substances into the community.

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