“It just hasn’t really set in; I don’t think it will,” a victim's cousin said
The families of three men whose bodies were found on Jan. 9 in a friend’s backyard in Kansas City, Missouri, are alarmed about what happened to their loved ones.
“Just the thought of him dying and them him sitting outside in the cold for two days,” said Caleb McGeeney, the cousin of victim Clayton McGeeney, per Fox affiliate WDAF. “It’s extremely devastating. The whole family is messed up. He was such a good person.”
In addition to Clayton, Ricky Johnson and David Harrington were also found dead in their friend Jordan Willis’ backyard two days after the group watched a Kansas City Chiefs game at Willis’ home on Jan. 7, Inside Edition reported.
Through his attorney, Willis has denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of what happened to the men. Willis has not been charged in the case, which authorities are characterizing as a "death investigation."
Meanwhile, questions about the mysterious deaths abound.
WDAF reported that a woman who went to look for her fiancé found a body on Willis’ porch on Jan. 9. The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) told PEOPLE that they located a dead body after responding to the woman’s call.
"Upon further investigation, officers located two other dead bodies in the backyard," said a KCPD spokesperson.
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“There were no obvious signs of foul play observed at or near the crime scene," the spokesperson said, adding that "it is still the case that no foul play was observed or suspected."
"The cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner [and that an] investigation by them is underway," Kansas City police added.
Alan McGeeney, also one of Clayton's cousins, described the situation to CBS affiliate KCTV as “strange.”
“It just hasn’t really set in; I don’t think it will,” Alan told the outlet.
“I’m not looking for anyone’s head or anything, but my cousin was frozen to the dirt for two days," he added. "It’s gotten a lot of attention from everyone having questions but not a lot of attention from anyone having any action; it just seems strange.”
In an interview with The Kansas City Star, Alan said his late cousin enjoyed motorcycling and traveling the country. He also told the newspaper that Clayton was turning his life around following issues with traffic violations and child support, saying, “He was on a good path. He cared about that.”
A GoFundMe was established on behalf of Clayton's fiancé. “April now has expenses related to the funeral as well as the stress from going from a dual income household to a single income,” the fundraiser description read. “Clayton was a subcontractor for a small construction company and work was slow at the time of his death. Please help us show her love and support during this difficult and sad time in her life.”
Jennifer Marquez, the mother of David Harrington, told WDAF that learning about the death of her son was the most devastating moment of her life.
“It’s a huge loss. He’s everything,” Marquez said. “He’s a brother, he has a sister, Carmen, a brother, Sebastian. They’re missing him, and they are broken-hearted they will never see their brother again.”
Marquez described Harrington to The Kansas City Star as someone who made people laugh and was a good friend to be counted on. She also organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe to pay for Harrington’s funeral expenses, writing, “I miss my son very much. I have no words on how much he meant to everybody to myself to his sister. To his brother and to all of his many many friends. And I'm praying that people out there.”
The third victim, Ricky Johnson, was described by his niece Stephanie Walling as a “cherished son, brother, uncle, and friend.” In a GoFundMe for her uncle, Walling wrote, “This tragedy has left our family utterly devastated and mourning a tremendous loss.” She added that Johnson was a father to three "beautiful daughters."
"You're grieving, but you're also mad, because you don't know all the circumstances," said Linda Johnson, Ricky's stepmother, via NBC affiliate KSHB. "You've been hearing bits and pieces, and it isn't good that they had to wait in the cold and their bodies had to thaw out from the autopsy."
PEOPLE has contacted all three of the GoFundMe organizers for comment.
John Picerno, an attorney representing Jordan Willis, on Tuesday told PEOPLE in a statement that his client “is unaware of how his friends died,” and is “anxiously awaiting the results of the autopsy and toxicology report.”
Picerno added that his client “does not know the timing or manner of their deaths, nor does he know how or when they exited his house. He had no knowledge that they remained in his backyard.”
Picerno claimed that the last time Willis saw the men "was when they left his house, and he went to bed." According to the attorney, his client was unaware that friends and family were trying to find the men "prior to being contacted by the police."
Via an email to PEOPLE, Picerno acknowledged WDAF's report that a fifth man was at the house that night, but said that "he left maybe an hour or two before the other three," adding, "Jordan is not exactly sure of that time period."
However, WDAF reported that Picerno has since said that Willis went to sleep before the three men left.
“When he would have people over at his house, yes sometimes as people, they get tired, they’re people that are very close to you and you feel comfortable going to bed and allowing them to leave when they want to leave,” said Picerno, per WDAF.
PEOPLE has contacted Picerno to clarify the timeline.
The attorney said that upon arriving at the rental property, police spoke to Willis and he “allowed them into the house, told them all he knew, and voluntarily consented to a search of his home.”
Police have said that "there have not been any arrests [or] charges, and no one is in custody.”
In an email to PEOPLE on Tuesday, a Kansas City Police Department spokesperson said that there have been no new updates in the case, and that the department is still awaiting the medical examiner’s ruling.
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