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Slain Minn. teens may be tied to earlier burglary

Associated Press Published: November 28, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A car linked to two Minnesota teens who were fatally shot during an alleged home burglary on Thanksgiving Day contained prescription drugs that had been stolen from another house, authorities said Wednesday.

Nicholas Brady, 17, and his cousin, Haile Kifer, 18, were killed in the Little Falls home of Byron Smith, who has since been charged with murder. Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said Smith told authorities he shot the teens multiple times after they broke into his house.

Wetzel said Wednesday that on the night before the shootings, a homeowner just outside Little Falls reported a suspicious car was parked near the end of his driveway.

Deputies responded and spoke with Brady, who told them he and Kifer had been in the car when it ran out of gas, Wetzel said. Brady told deputies that Kifer went to get more fuel, and the deputies then gave Brady a ride into Little Falls, leaving the car behind.

On Sunday, the sheriff's office got a report that a home in that area where the car was seen had been burglarized. The resident, Richard Johnson, had been out of town for more than a week.

"Johnson reported numerous items were missing from the home including several bottles of prescription medication," Wetzel said in a statement.

Authorities seized a red Mitsubishi Eclipse after the shootings and searched it. They found six prescription drug bottles bearing Johnson's name, Wetzel said. Authorities did not say who owns the vehicle.

Johnson, 68, said he returned from Spain Sunday evening to find drawers pulled out and cupboard doors open. At first, he said, he thought the friend watching his house was playing a joke, but as he went from room to room and discovered a sliding glass door had been smashed, he realized he had been robbed.

He said his prescriptions to treat diabetes and control cholesterol were missing, along with some foreign coins and pennies. He said his friend checked the home Wednesday and everything was fine.

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