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Old 10-19-2011, 04:29 PM   #211
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[QUOTE=hostedbyrobertstack]
Quote:
Originally Posted by soilentgreen
I don't know if this has been posted:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/cleve...kurt-sova.html

Hey, that was I who posted that message on city-data a couple of years ago, ha. I just added another reply to it to bump it up to the first page, see if anyone new sees it.
i feel sor sorry for you best friend kurt looked like a good kid
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:23 PM   #212
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Yep, it's going to be 30 years in a few days since the day/night that something happened to him that subsequently led to his death.

I saw that small thread as well:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/cleve...kurt-sova.html

They claim that their older brother Dan and a guy named "Miller" used to hang out with Kurt a lot. But then after Dan went into military, maybe Kurt starting hanging out with Samuel Carroll and some of the other people that were at the duplex party?
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:30 PM   #213
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"Plain Dealer, The (Cleveland, OH)



October 27, 1991

WOUNDS STILL FRESH FROM SON'S DEATH ONE DECADE AGO


Author: BILL SAMMON PLAIN DEALER REPORTER

Edition: FINAL / WEST
Section: NATIONAL
Page: 1A












Article Text:

His body was cruciform, arms outstretched, head to one side, one knee slightly bent and one foot atop the other.

It was found by three boys cutting through a Newburgh Heights ravine 10 years ago tomorrow. But the passing of a decade has only served to deepen the mystery surrounding the disappearance of 17-year-old Kurt E. Sova and the discovery of his body five days later.

For Kurt's parents, Kenneth and Dorothy Sova of Cleveland's Slavic Village neighborhood, the last 10 years have seemed like 100. They said their initial suspicions that Newburgh Heights police were bungling the investigation were gradually confirmed as one by one, the police in power were brought down by charges ranging from falsifying credentials to drug trafficking.

The man who worried the Sovas the most turned out to be worst of the bunch. Robert Carras, the tiny village's only detective and the man who headed the Sova investigation, was later exposed! as a drug addict with a record of bludgeoning and stomping handcuffed prisoners. This year, he was sentenced to a prison term of six to 15 years.

Carras' investigation of the Sova case was a joke, according to those who later waded through its wreckage, including Cleveland police, the county sheriff's and prosecutor's offices, even the FBI. There were no photos of Kurt's body as it was found, no search of the house where Kurt was last seen alive and no written statements from those who were with Kurt the night he disappeared.

Even the cause of death remains a mystery. The Cuyahoga County coroner's office performed a full autopsy but could not determine what killed the perfectly healthy teen-ager.

Last year, Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor James A. Gutierrez asked Carras whether he had any involvement in Kurt's disappearance and death. After all, Carras once took a crime suspect to a back lot off Harvard Ave. - close to where Kurt was foun! d - and allegedly tried to provoke him into a fight.

! Carras denied any involvement in Kurt's death, Gutierrez said. Carras declined to be interviewed by The Plain Dealer for this story.

But the very thought that the man investigating their son's disappearance and death would later be questioned in the case has deeply troubled Ken and Dorothy Sova.

With the anniversary of Kurt's death approaching, the Sovas find themselves looking back to happier times when their fourth and closest son was still a vibrant part of their lives.

"Kurt was my baby," said Dorothy Sova, unable to stem her tears. "And I often blame myself for letting him remain my baby. While my older boys were adults at 12, he was still a baby at 17. He still went with me to places. He still shopped with me. He still went on vacation with us."

Yet Kurt's personality had a side he did not share with his parents. Like many teens, he was not averse to smoking marijuana or drinking booze on weekends, according to his friends.

Fr! iday, Oct. 23, 1981, was no exception. Kurt cut school and went to a liquor store, where he persuaded an adult to buy him a fifth of 190-proof Everclear, a potent liquor that since has been banned from Ohio liquor stores because it killed a Michigan man.

Kurt drank the afternoon away at his girlfriend's house, then joined a friend, Samuel C. Carroll, for a party that night at the home of Debbie Sams and her brother, Clayton. The Samses and a female roommate rented the upstairs of a double house on Harvard Ave. in Newburgh Heights.

Kurt's drinking continued at the party and he began stumbling around, knocking things over. Then, he got sick.

"The roommate asked me to please get him out of the house, so I helped him down the stairs and to the outside," Carroll said.

"We were out there about 20 or 30 minutes and it was cold out there - we were both in T-shirts," Carroll continued. "I then went to go and get the jackets upstairs. ... I got t! he jackets and went back down and he wasn't there. I was only ! upstairs about two or three minutes."

Carroll roamed nearby side streets and checked the parking lot of a J.L. Goodman Furniture Inc. warehouse, not far from where Kurt's body eventually was found. Finally, assuming Kurt had gone home, Carroll returned to the party.

"I can only guess that someone he knew picked him up because it happened that fast," Carroll said. "Someone had to pick him up in a car."

By then, Dorothy Sova already was out looking for her son, whom she had not seen since 7:30 a.m. She drove to several of Kurt's usual hangouts, but returned home alone for the first of several sleepless nights.

By dawn, the Sovas were really worried. For a thorough search, they enlisted a small army of friends and relatives, who fanned out over the ethnic, working-class neighborhood, asking anyone and everyone if they had seen Kurt. They searched alleys, ravines, even Dumpsters.

"We were in teams. We must have had 40 people looking for him! day and night," Dorothy Sova recalled.

That Sunday, Dorothy Sova filed a missing-person report with Cleveland police. Kurt's older brothers printed up fliers bearing Kurt's photo and information about his disappearance. Kurt's face went up in stores and on utility poles all over the neighborhood.

Dorothy Sova acknowledged that after finding out from Carroll about the party at the Samses' house, her family's repeated visits amounted to harassment. They recovered Kurt's jacket there but came up with nothing to aid the search.

After several days, Police Chief James F. Lukas ordered them to stay away from the house.

On Monday, an eerie occurrence at a Slavic Village record shop foreshadowed the discovery of Kurt's body. An apparently homeless man had been hanging around the shop for a couple of weeks and had bragged of having access to bodies flown into Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. He had bragged of removing shoes from the bo! dies.

On this day, the man showed up and pointed to ! a flier of Kurt taped to the window.

"He says: 'They're gonna find him and they're gonna find him in two days and they're not gonna know what happened to him,' said Judy Oros, who was manager of the store. "He was right."

The next morning, the Sovas heard that Kurt might have been sleeping on a cot in the Samses' basement. Kenneth Sova and his sons went to the house, kicked in a door and searched the basement. There was a cot, but no sign of Kurt.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m., three neighborhood boys cut behind the J.L. Goodman warehouse on Harvard Ave. and headed through some neighboring steel yards. As they passed through a ravine, they saw something that made them stop.

It was a human body lying face-up in a puddle, just a few feet from where Kenneth Sova had searched the night before. The boys ran to a workman, who summoned police.

"When we arrived there, his body was laid out like Christ on the cross," said Paul T. Grzesik, who was ! a part-time patrolman at the time. "One shoe was found nearby. We never found the other (right) shoe."

The scene at the county morgue is burned into Kenneth Sova's brain: "I said I wanted to see the body, so they pulled open the drapes," he recalled. "I felt sort of hurt because there was mud on his face and they didn't even wipe him off. He looked cold. He looked so cold. He was lying there as if to say, 'Dad, I'm so cold. Take me home.'

Kurt had a bruise on one cheek and numerous bruises on his shins. A few scratches and nicks were found on his body. But there were no bullet holes, knife wounds, needle punctures or internal injuries. The coroner's office was baffled.

Of the approximately 1,200 autopsies performed each year by the coroner's office, the cause of death eludes pathologists in one or two cases, said Cuyahoga County Coroner Elizabeth Balraj.

"You can stop the machinery without damaging the machinery," explained Dr. Lester! Adelson, who worked at the coroner's office at the time.
Ku rt had a blood-alcohol level of 0.11%, slightly higher than Ohio's legal definition of drunkenness; not nearly high enough to kill him. Tests for cocaine and LSD turned up negative. Since no one admitted witnessing foul play, the death was ruled "probable accidental."


News of Kurt's death traveled quickly through the tightly knit community. The predictions of the homeless man in the record store had come true, sending a chill down Oros' spine.

To make matters worse, when Oros arrived at the record store Thursday morning, a neighboring merchant gave her a bouquet of flowers left for her by the man.

"There was a note in it," Oros recalled. "It said: 'Roses are red, the sky is blue. They found him dead and they'll find you, too.'

By the time the man showed up at the store again, Oros had alerted Cleveland police, who sent two detectives.

"They took him outside and were sitting in their car with him," Oros recalled. "They checked! him out. They told me he was just some wacko from Detroit."

The man was released and Oros never saw him again. The man was never interviewed by Newburgh Heights police.

Newburgh Heights police never talked with Angeline Reddicks, either. She says she saw two males dragging what appeared to be an unconscious teen-age boy toward the ravine where Kurt's body later was found.

"I seen them taking a boy down the alley. It was just before Halloween," said Reddicks, who said she witnessed the scene one afternoon from a window in her house on Washington Park Blvd. "One foot was barefoot. I'm almost sure it was the right one. I figured: 'Couple teen-agers with a couple beers too many and they're probably trying to sober up.'

A few days later, Reddicks learned that Kurt's body had been found in the ravine. But she said she never told police what she saw because her husband told her, "You know, Mom, we gotta mind our business."

More th! an a year later, Reddicks by chance met Kenneth Sova on a stre! et and r elated what she had seen. Dorothy Sova said she passed Reddicks' information to the Newburgh Heights police, but Reddicks never heard from them. She said the only officers who interviewed her were sheriff's detectives in 1989.

"I'm not surprised they (Newburgh Heights police) didn't interview her," Dorothy Sova said. "They didn't interview half the people who came to me with stuff. Carras kept playing me off as the mother who would not accept her son's death."

The death she accepts. But she is tortured by unanswered questions: Where was Kurt during the five days between the party and the discovery of his body? How did he die? How did his body end up in the ravine?

She tirelessly tracks down rumors about Kurt that still swirl through the neighborhood's taverns and around its street corners. She seizes upon shreds of information on similar deaths in Greater Cleveland.

One death right in the neighborhood less than four months later bore a st! riking resemblance to Kurt's case. The body of 13-year-old Eugene C. Kvet, who lived one block north of the Sovas, was found in a Cleveland ravine off Harvard Ave. Eugene's right shoe also was missing.

The autopsy findings said Eugene died from falling into the ravine.

Undaunted by this and many other dead ends, Dorothy Sova has succeeded in getting four law enforcement agencies to reinvestigate Kurt's case. But each has come up empty. The trail is too cold.

"The initial investigation done by the Newburgh Heights police was a joke. A joke," said Gutierrez, who reopened the case for the prosecutor's office last year. "If I had known about some of this stuff earlier, I probably would have indicted some people on dereliction of duty. There was no police investigation whatsoever. It was unbelievable. The people who ran Newburgh Heights, from a law enforcement perspective, in the early '80s ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Police Chief L! ukas disagreed.

"I felt it was a pretty good investi! gation, based on the fact that we really didn't have a lot to go on. Nobody would even talk," Lukas said last week. "We didn't have a cause of death and that was the biggest problem. If they would have at least given us a cause of death, we would have had something to go on."

The Newburgh Heights police file on Kurt's case contains four Polaroid photos of Kurt's body after it had been loaded on a stretcher and was about to be placed in an ambulance. Asked why the file holds no photos of Kurt's body as it was found, a routine police practice, Lukas said: "I know there were photos taken. I'm almost positive there were photos."

Asked why no forensics specialists were called to the crime scene, Lukas said: "You've got to remember one thing: We were a small police department. We didn't have no forensics specialist."

Other law enforcement agencies say the tiny force should have asked Cleveland to send a specialist to the scene. Dorothy Sova said Newburgh Heig! hts rejected an offer of help from Cleveland police immediately after the body was found.

Asked why his officers did not obtain a search warrant for the Samses' house, where Kurt was last seen alive, Lukas said: "We had no reason to search it."

Eighteen months after the death, Dorothy Sova persuaded Cleveland Police Detective Al Figler to investigate the case. The first thing Figler wanted was the case file.

"When I went to talk to Carras, there must have been three or four pieces of paper thrown in a manila folder with four Polaroids," said Figler, who spent eight years working on the case. "It was a joke. Basic detective work would demand more documents than that."

The FBI also opened an investigation of the Sova case last year when the agency charged Carras with brutally beating five crime suspects. One of those suspects was Eric Kotonski, whom Carras arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. Kotonski said that when he refused to s! urrender his car keys, Carras bashed him in the head with a fl! ashlight .

Carras later picked up Kotonski at the hospital to drive him back to the Newburgh Heights police station. But he made an unexpected stop and tried to taunt the handcuffed prisoner into another fight, Kotonski said.

"He took me behind J.L. Goodman Furniture," said Kotonski, referring to the Harvard Ave. warehouse near where Kurt's body was found. "But I wouldn't get out of the car. I had already been beaten up once and I wasn't going to go through it again."

The five beatings for which Carras was convicted all occurred in 1988 and 1989. But prisoners weren't all he abused. There also was Percocet, a potent and addictive painkiller. Last year, Carras was convicted on 76 counts of aggravated drug trafficking and illegal processing of drug documents.

Carras was fired from the Newburgh Heights Police Department in January.

Five months before that, Lukas was permanently banned from law enforcement for helping to arrange phony polic! e credentials for a Newburgh Heights dispatcher.

That was not Lukas' first crime conviction. In 1984, he pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty for allowing gambling at a party where he was working while off duty.

But Lukas said his run-ins with the law should not reflect on his handling of the Sova case.

"That's not even fair. What happened was completely unrelated," Lukas said. "That's the only part I take offense to. That (Sova) case was handled on the up and up."

Not according to the Sheriff's Department, the only agency still actively investigating the case.

"It's kind of been botched since the beginning," said Detective Sgt. Don Mester. "We had a very difficult time getting records from Carras and the Newburgh Heights Police Department. But as long as I'm here, we'll consider the case open."

Carras has refused to be interviewed by the Sheriff's Department, Mester said. But Mester and his partner, Detective Len! Smith, are pursuing the probe and have conducted several othe! r interv iews in recent weeks.

And the Sovas keep waiting for answers.

"It has taken 10 years of our lives. It has literally crushed our family," Dorothy Sova said, clutching an armful of files she has accumulated on the case. "Sometimes I think I should just take all this stuff and throw it in the fire and get on with my life. But you can't go on with your life because you're constantly hearing different things about it."

As the tears returned, Dorothy Sova caressed the yellowed, dog-eared birth certificate imprinted with Kurt's infant footprints.

"I rememember all the good things, the fun things about him," Dorothy Sova said. "Oh, God, he was just a lovable boy."

Caption:
PHOTOS BY: PD/GUS CHAN

PHOTO 1: Dorothy Sova with her dog, Holli, and a photo of her son, Kurt, when he was 15. Mystery still shrouds Kurt's death 10 years ago.

PHOTO 2: ROBERT CARRAS: His investigation of Kurt E. Sova's death has been criticized by other officials, and Carras himself was questioned.





Copyright 1991, 2002 The Plain Dealer. All Rights Reserved. Used by NewsBank with Permission.
Record Number: 06300093

Read more: http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=165453&page=8#ixzz1bLNhh4B9"


This just occurred to me: where did the information come from that Kurt cut school that day, had a man buy him Everclear, and then "drank the day away" at a "girlfriend's" house?

If they got those "facts" from Samuel C. Carroll, for all we all know, he could have been LYING about that, too. We know he's lying when he says he went outside with Kurt during the party, had to go in to get his coat, and that Kurt was gone when he came back out. That's definitely a bull**** story.

Carroll or the Samses (Clayton and Debbie) or the known names we have to work with the people that know the truth of what happened to Kurt. Someone needs to get them to talk.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:06 PM   #214
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was kurt a nice guy to hang out with? since you knew him?
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:08 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W.
Yep, it's going to be 30 years in a few days since the day/night that something happened to him that subsequently led to his death.

I saw that small thread as well:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/cleve...kurt-sova.html

They claim that their older brother Dan and a guy named "Miller" used to hang out with Kurt a lot. But then after Dan went into military, maybe Kurt starting hanging out with Samuel Carroll and some of the other people that were at the duplex party?
was kurt a nice guy since you knew him?
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:45 AM   #216
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"was kurt a nice guy since you knew him?"

It wasn't me that stated he knew him. I wasn't even born yet when he died.

The poster with the handle "hostedbyrobertstack" is the one that stated they posted in that City Data thread. But they aren't the person that knew him, either. The person in that thread that stated they knew him posted under the handle, "bfgoodbitch".

Last edited by Steve W.; 10-21-2011 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:28 AM   #217
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I remember reading a lot of speculation on this forum over the years about why the police seemingly didn't follow up leads and expose what were obvious lies. After reading that article, it now seems very clear to me that the lead investigator was grossly incompetent and that this case was severely mishandled from the start. If there is a better example of a case that could have and should have been solved early on but wasn't due to incompetence, I can't think of one. This is a true miscarriage of justice. I feel terrible for the Sova family.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:29 AM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W.
"was kurt a nice guy since you knew him?"

It wasn't me that stated he knew him. I wasn't even born yet when he died.

The poster with the handle "hostedbyrobertstack" is the one that stated they posted in that City Data thread. But aren't the person that knew him, either. The person in that thread that stated they knew him posted under the handle, "bfgoodbitch".
oh sorry my mistake then
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:37 PM   #219
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I think his body might have been laid out in a Jesus pose because he died for their sins, which would go along with the using-him-to-try-out-a-drug scenario. That pi**es me off if that was the case.

Did you notice how the article didn't provide a source for the details of what Kurt was doing that day before going to the duplex party? That part could have been straight from his "friend's" mouth, which means it could have been made up. It doesn't make sense for him to drink a bottle of Everclear and THEN go to a party. He would have been too out of it to want to walk somewhere.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:20 PM   #220
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IMO, I think it's pretty obvious what happened to Kurt. He had some weird reaction to the booze and/or drugs that were at that party, blacked out, his friends and the partygoers panicked, and attempted to nurse him back to health. I think he stayed in that building for the days he was "missing", which would explain why his father didn't see him in the ravine the days before he was actually discovered. I think the owner of the house where the party was held started to feel guilty/remorseful and called Kurt's parents and said Kurt was sleeping in her basement. I think Kurt died soon after or possibly even before this phone call was made and the others involved on the coverup yet again panicked, and moved him to the ravine shortly after the phonecall and when Kurt's parents arrived at the house, Debbie changed her tune. Kurt's body was then placed in the ravine.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:26 PM   #221
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This whole thing is sad. Kurt was only 17.
Kids that age make immature and stupid decisions when they
go through that wild phase. His family seemed so nice. He would
have probably grown out of that risk taking kind of behavior and
would have had a good life.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:03 AM   #222
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What I still want to know though is if he took drugs (alcohol included) all by his own choice that night (and earlier in the day possibly as well, according to the 1991 article) that led to his death or if he was forced to take them/some at the party.

Why else would the two guys that carried his body to the ravine put him in a crucified Jesus Christ pose (translation: he died for their sins)?
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:31 AM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W.
What I still want to know though is if he took drugs (alcohol included) all by his own choice that night (and earlier in the day possibly as well, according to the 1991 article) that led to his death or if he was forced to take them/some at the party.
While it is impossible to know, I think Kurt had a hand in his own demise. I say this for two reasons. First, there was testimony that he was drinking heavily and intoxicated at the party. Second, his body was in relatively good condition without any signs of obvious external trauma. It didn't appear he had been in a fight or struggle, for example.

I have always believed that the Sovas were either in denial, or, at a minimum, in the dark about some of Kurt's activities. The articles indicate that Kurt drank alcohol and smoked marijuana regularly. He also purportedly bought Everclear the night of the party. Everclear is some pretty heavy duty stuff, or so I have been told.

That being said, I don't mean to imply anything negative about Kurt. He was 17 years old. A lot of kids his age and even younger begin experimenting with alcohol and recreational drugs, and typically do not inform their parents. It's a stage many adolescents go through and hopefully find their way out of before long. However, some kids form life long addictions. Others die young of medical conditions related to these activities, or in some cases, due to undiagnosed medical conditions exacerbated by the alcohol and drug use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W.
Why else would the two guys that carried his body to the ravine put him in a crucified Jesus Christ pose (translation: he died for their sins)?
I think it is coincidental. Have you ever helped an intoxicated person walk? One way to do it is to take their arm and prop it on your shoulders so when you move together, you are providing support as well as carrying some of their body weight. I can envision two men carrying Kurt's body in this fashion, with a man on each arm, and laying him down in the ravine - his arms would naturally be outstretched in such a pose. This is corroborated by testimony from a witness who said she saw two men carrying a third person out to the ravine, but she assumed the men were drunken teenagers trying to sober up.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:04 AM   #224
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I too think the parents were in denial about Kurt's involvement with alcohol and drugs. I'm surprised, if this were in fact an accidental overdose/death, someone has not came forward by now. There would have to have been several people at that party that would have known what had happened with Kurt and if he indeed have some weird reaction to the alcohol/drugs.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:51 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by TheCars1986
I too think the parents were in denial about Kurt's involvement with alcohol and drugs. I'm surprised, if this were in fact an accidental overdose/death, someone has not came forward by now. There would have to have been several people at that party that would have known what had happened with Kurt and if he indeed have some weird reaction to the alcohol/drugs.
I think it depends who was around when he died or was found dead. I wouldn't be surprised if someone (perhaps "Susan") took Kurt down to the cot in the basement to "sleep it off", he dies, and is discovered after the fact by Susan or someone else. There was testimony that Kurt was drinking at the party. There was also testimony that he didn't know most of the people at this party and that many of the party-goers were older than Kurt. These people could all be potential witnesses to Kurt's last moments, but as they didn't know who he was and were probably drunk or stoned themselves, didn't attach any significance to his presence and actions that night.

I think it's also possible that people who were in attendance wouldn't necessarily want to come forward either because they were using illicit substances themselves, witnessed the use of illicit substances, or even worse, are fearful of being accused of having a hand in Sova's death.

It would be easy to write this whole thing off as an accidental overdose or reaction to alcohol or a drug save one troubling fact - the "Crazy from Detroit". Perhaps he was just a "crazy" but the fact that he predicted not only the discovery of Sova's body, but also predicted that the instrument death would be undectable - which an autopsy confirmed it was. You've got to wonder about that.
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