ST. MARYS — St. Marys City Police have charged two Elk County residents in connection with a drug incident which resulted in the death of a 22-year-old Wilcox man in October of 2018.
Zachary Joseph Dynda, 20, of Ridgway, was charged March 16 with several felonies — drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy, prohibited acts and criminal use of communication facility — and a misdemeanor of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in connection with the death of Mitchel Steele Anderson on Oct. 20, 2018.
Paige Sanee Klaiber, 19, of St. Marys, was also charged in connection with Anderson’s death. She faces charges of conspiracy – drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy – prohibited acts, conspiracy – tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and criminal use of communication facility.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed at the office of District Judge Mark Jacob of St. Marys, the police received a phone call at 2:43 p.m. Oct. 20 about the death of a man at a residence located 131 Wendel Road in St. Marys.
Elk County Coroner Michelle Muccio was also at the scene when police arrived. The affidavit said they saw Anderson lying on a futon in an upstairs bedroom of the residence. A glass-smoking device, which contained marijuana residue and a dark-colored “pen tube” containing an unknown substance, were found under the futon.
The police seized a garbage bag, in which Klaiber and Dynda allegedly placed drug paraphernalia, including empty glassine bags with suspected heroin residue and aluminum foil with burnt residue, the affidavit said.
As a result of the investigation, the police said they determined that Anderson had ingested heroine containing fentanyl, suspected of causing his death. Klaiber allegedly admitted to providing Dynda $30 to purchase three bags of heroin on Oct. 19, 2018. She said her friend, Anderson, wanted to purchase 10 individual bags, which allegedly Dynda sold to him for $150. The three continued to use heroin until around 3 or 4 a.m., the affidavit said.
Klaiber initially denied drug usage other than marijuana, as well as having any house guests there the night prior to Anderson’s death. It was later confirmed Dynda entered the house with her.
Dynda, who was sought on an active warrant for his arrest on unrelated charges, was located in a Brusselles Street residence on Oct. 23, 2018, and allegedly admitted to selling heroin to Anderson, according to police. He also allegedly admitted to destroying Anderson’s phone and throwing it into a nearby creek. The cell phone was later recovered at that location. Information obtained from Dynda’s cell phone confirmed he was involved in the sale and distribution of heroin throughout the Elk County area, police said.
Final autopsy results concluded that Anderson’s cause of death was “acute combined fentanyl and morphine toxicity,” the affidavit said.
Dynda is confined in the Elk County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 23 at Jacob’s office. Klaiber’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. on May 14.