Witness Testifies Emlenton Man Accused in Death of Kayla Dunlap Stopped Her from Calling 9-1-1

| January 15, 2020

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – The prosecution rested its case following the testimony of authorities and two witnesses on Day Two (Tuesday) of the trial for an Emlenton man accused in Kayla Dunlap’s death.

The second day of the trial opened with testimony from Corporal Christopher Balcik, currently serving in Harmarville, Allegheny County, Pa.

Stationed at the Butler-based State Police barracks in September of 2017, Corporal Balcik was working in the criminal investigations division at the time of the incident. He was on-call at the time Kayla Dunlap‘s body was discovered and was the lead investigator on the case.

Following the initial interviews with Long, the investigating officers “believed Long was more involved than he led (them) to believe,” and applied for a search warrant for Long’s phone, according to Corporal Balcik.

Officers also collected data from a “tower dump,” or information from cell phone towers, that helped show the location of Long’s phone on the night in question.

Corporal Balcik noted that Long said he was home on the night of September 16, 2017, but the mapping of the cell phone location from the towers’ information showed his phone, which Long had told them he did not lend out to anyone, had been in the area where they found Dunlap’s body.

“We knew at that point that (Long) did not tell us the truth,” Balcik added.

During Corporal Balcik’s testimony, evidence was entered into the record, including photographs of Long’s vehicle, a white Chevrolet Equinox, and a particular photograph of a spot of what was discovered, through testing, to be blood in the back of the vehicle.

Additional items entered into evidence included the lab and DNA testing reports, which concluded the blood had a high likelihood of being from Dunlap or Long; however, it was noted that Grace O’Day “cannot be included” as a likely contributor to the DNA in the blood.

Balcik testified that the DNA evidence confirmed the conclusion that Long had lied to police.

The report from the analysis of Long’s phone was also entered into evidence, and many of the text messages found were read aloud.

The text messages include messages from Long stating he “factory reset his phone” because he feared police would seize it. Additional messages also included what Balcik testified were references to drug transactions, including messages about “ice,” “white,” “brown,” being in Ohio “on business,” having “two stamps” for someone, and having “three buns made up.”

One message the prosecution honed in on was a message that talked about going “around a turn fast” and doing “a Kayla,” which Balcik said seemed to indicate allowing someone to fall from a vehicle while going quickly around a turn.

Balcik testified the message seemed to “indicate Long had knowledge” of how Dunlap’s body was dumped.

Another later message mentioned someone selling smaller baggies “to keep people from dying,” and noted “they still do, Kayla is proof.”

According to Balcik’s testimonry, further findings appeared to clarify Long’s dealings, as messages from Long indicate he was “stupid for not cutting” what he had because he “could have made more money.”

The amounts of substances and money discussed in some of the messages correlate with amounts found in the “owe sheets” that were also discovered in Long’s residence, noted Balcik.

One message from Long also directly stated he “got reloaded with the white fentanyl.”

Under cross examination, Balcik noted that the text messages did indicate Long was attempting to travel to purchase drugs, as well as attempting to find drugs locally, because he “needed help to come down” from the methamphetamine he was using; however, due to the related messages and quantities discussed, Long also seemed to be looking for a new supplier, so he could continue to sell drugs, as well.

Following Balcik’s testimony, Trooper Knirnschild was recalled to the stand, primarily regarding the report on the mirror found in Long’s residence.

A forensic report entered as evidence, the powdered substance noted on the mirror tested positive for methamphetamine and methadone, according to Knirnschild.

Under cross examination, Knirnschild noted the trace amounts found and tested were too small to be weighed.

Expert Testimony on Cause of Death

Dr. Leon Rozin, a pathologist for the Butler County Coroner’s Office, was the next to be called to the stand. Rozin performed the autopsy on Dunlap, and testified to his findings. According to his testimony, he found only minor abrasions during the external exam, but during the internal exam, found Dunlap’s lungs were full of foamy fluid, which he said is commonly found in overdoses and drownings.

Rozin noted he was unable to draw a conclusion until the toxicology report was returned. However, when the toxicology report, which was also entered as evidence, was returned, it showed that Dunlap had 25 times the minimal lethal dose of fentanyl in her system, along with amphetamine, naloxone, and other substances. He concluded she died as a result of combined fentanyl and amphetamine toxicity.

Under cross examination, when asked if she may still have died from the level of amphetamine, had the fentanyl not been present, Rozin said it was possible. However, under later questioning by the prosecution, when asked if she could have survived the level of fentanyl if the amphetamine had not been present, Rozin said she could not.

Mike Adams’ Testimony

Mike Adams, an associate of Long’s, was the next to take the stand.

Adams testified to having known Long for “a couple of years” and regularly purchasing drugs from him, including fentanyl. Adams testified to also having known Dunlap for a larger portion of his life, as he “knew her growing up.”

Adams testified that he went to Long’s trailer around lunchtime on the day of September 16, 2017, looking to purchase drugs from Long, and had arrived to find Dunlap and Grace O’Day asleep on one of the couches in the living room.

Adams noted that Dunlap awoke when he arrived at the trailer, and said “I’m not here right now,” and asked him not to tell her father, as she had run away from a treatment program. Adams said that she also asked him for a ride to Rimersburg, but he told her he could only take her as far as Parker.

According to Adams, he had then gone outside to make a call, since cell phone reception inside the trailer was bad, and when he went back inside, he discovered Dunlap on her knees “nodded out” after having apparently used drugs. Adams said he checked on her and found she was breathing and said someone needed to keep an eye on her. Considering her condition, he opted not to give her a ride and then left the residence.

He didn’t have any further contact with anyone from the trailer until the following day, Adams testified.

He stated he heard about Dunlap’s death from a coworker late the next morning and then called Long. According to Adams, Long told him that Dunlap had left the trailer, shortly after Adams had left.

“He said he left to go to Clintonville, and when he came back, she was gone,” Adams said.

Adams was questioned about what he knew about Long’s distribution of controlled substances; he testified that he began purchasing from Long in the spring of 2017. He said that Long also used the substances, including fentanyl and crystal methamphetamine.

When questioned about why he purchased from Long, in particular, Adams noted the substances Long sold where “consistent.”

“I was under the impression he was selling it as he bought it,” Adams said.

Under cross examination, Adams was asked about how he found out Dunlap was at Long’s residence.

“He said ‘you’re not gonna believe who is here,” Adams said, noting that Long met him outside when he arrived, and told him Dunlap was inside the trailer.

However, under further questioning, Adams noted that Long was not pleased with Dunlap’s presence.

“He didn’t want her there,” Adams said

He explained that Long had issues with Dunlap over “trouble” she had gotten into with theft and lying.

When asked if Long ever talked about not wanting to sell to Kayla, Adams said Long did indicate that, although he never said specifically why.

Grace O’Day Testimony

Huddled in a heavy coat and looking somewhat careworn, Grace O’Day was the next witness to take the stand.

O’Day testified that she had known Long for about five years and that she had resided with him since 2016 when she “had nowhere else to live.”

According to her testimony, O’Day said that she didn’t purchase drugs from Long, but he gave them to her freely, and she used methamphetamine and fentanyl while residing with him.

When questioned about her relationship with Dunlap, O’Day said she and Dunlap had previously been in a romantic relationship, but they had remained close friends after no longer dating.

She testified that Dunlap had also been using drugs for quite some time, including methamphetamine and heroin, and usually used “anything she could get.”

According to O’Day, Dunlap arrived at the trailer late on the night of September 15, and that night, she (O’Day) and Dunlap both “shot up” with fentanyl. O’Day reported that she did not give the fentanyl to Dunlap, and she did not see where Dunlap obtained it but said Dunlap told her she had gotten the drugs from Long.

The fentanyl Dunlap had was packaged in the same baggies as the fentanyl Long had, O’Day noted.

Dunlap had eight bags, according to O’Day. And, she testified that she loaded the syringe with half of a bag of fentanyl, and Dunlap injected it into her ankle, because “she had a hard time finding veins” elsewhere due to her habitual use.

O’Day went on to state that Dunlap “went out” after injecting the drugs, but that she then managed to get Dunlap back up and moving for a time before using a larger quantity of fentanyl herself. She said she and Dunlap then went to sleep together on the couch and were awakened the next day when Adams arrived.

According to O’Day’s testimony, while Adams was at the trailer, both she and Dunlap used more fentanyl. She wasn’t certain specifically where Adams and Long were at that time and noted she didn’t prepare anything for Dunlap that morning, as she was “too busy trying to get unsick” herself. She testified that Dunlap fell down after using in the area between the kitchen and the living room and noted she herself then “went out” after using.

O’Day went on to testify that when she awoke later, she discovered that Dunlap was still “out” and had apparently wet herself. She reported she then began to call 9-1-1, but was stopped by Long.

“He took my phone and wouldn’t let me call,” she stated.

O’Day testified that she then gave Dunlap Narcan, but “it didn’t work” and said Dunlap was no longer breathing. She noted again that she wanted to call 9-1-1, but said Long wouldn’t let her because “he would go to jail.”

According to O’Day’s testimony, Long then took the rest of the baggies from Dunlap’s pocket and locked O’Day inside the trailer with Dunlap, placing padlocks on both doors. She reported that she then “got high” again because she “was in shock” and “panicked.”

Long came back sometime after dark and dragged Dunlap’s body to his vehicle, a white Chevrolet Equinox, to dump it, O’Day testified.

“He wanted me to help, but I wouldn’t,” O’Day stated.

She testified that she rode with Long to a back road behind a reservoir, where he pushed Dunlap’s body out of the vehicle and threw her purse out of the vehicle. O’Day also noted he utilized some bed sheets which he took back with him and later burned. O’Day reported that she found one of Dunlap’s black flip-flops in the driveway the following day, and Long then burned that, as well.

According to O’Day, Long instructed her to tell anyone who questioned her that Dunlap had left on foot the previous day. O’Day stated that’s what she told police during her first two interviews, noting she lied because she was afraid of Long and because she was “drug sick” again. However, she said during her third police interview, she finally told the truth.

“And, what is the truth,” District Attorney Shawn White asked.

“What I’m telling here today,” O’Day said.

White also showed the courtroom a photograph of Dunlap and asked O’Day to identify her from the photo.

The photograph led to an immediate emotional reaction from O’Day, who broke down into tears, and required a few moments to compose herself prior to cross examination, while Long remained stoic, with his head mostly down.

Under cross examination, O’Day recalled the charges filed against her, including abuse of a corpse and fabricating evidence, and stated she was sentenced on the charge of furnishing information without knowledge.

“I didn’t care what I would get, I just wanted justice for Kayla,” she said. “I loved Kayla more than anything.”

Defense attorney Joseph Ryan questioned O’Day about her claim of being padlocked inside the trailer, utilizing some of the photographs of the trailer entered as evidence. O’Day noted that no padlock was visible on the front door in the photograph and that there appeared to be no locks on the windows.

“There was a padlock on that door then,” she stated, and also reported the windows were “hard to open.”

The defense also attempted to hone in on the times O’Day had estimated in her testimony, noting that Adams said he arrived at the trailer around 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m., and O’Day had said she believed Long left, after Dunlap’s overdose, around 10:00 a.m.

“Maybe it was 11:00 a.m. I’m not sure,” O’Day stated.

When questioned about her phone, O’Day reiterated that Long had taken it from her and said when he left, “I’m pretty sure he took it with him, but I don’t know for sure what he did with it.”

O’Day was also questioned about her own dealings with drugs, and while she testified that she never sold drugs to Long, she admitted to being a “middle man” and to producing methamphetamine at her mother’s residence.

According to O’Day’s testimony, she was present when Dunlap had overdosed previously about a month prior to the events in September. She testified that Dunlap had reused a cotton ball that O’Day had used to inject fentanyl and had then overdosed. O’Day said after Dunlap overdosed, she had called Long to bring Narcan, and Long had told her to “throw her in a ditch.”

O’Day testified that she did not end up giving Dunlap Narcan at that time, as she had managed to get her up and conscious again without it.

Additional questioning circled back around to the suitcase which contained items for the production of methamphetamine. Under questioning, O’Day testified that the suitcase and its contents belonged to her. Further questioning from the prosecution also centered around the suitcase, and O’Day testified that Long did know about the contents.

Following O’Day’s testimony, the prosecution rested its case.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15, with witnesses for the defense. It is currently scheduled through Friday, January 17.

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