SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ — Officials say the 15-year-old boy who was found dead at a San Tan Valley home in September was killed over an alleged marijuana vape sale gone bad.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said on September 26, deputies responded to a home near Hunt Highway and Bella Vista Road for reports of a fatal shooting.
Joshua McCoy, 15, was found dead at the front door of a home in the area.
A witness told authorities they had seen the suspect standing over the McCoy’s body “grabbing something,” according to court paperwork.
During the investigation, sheriff officials said McCoy was reportedly involved in selling marijuana vape cartridges and drug-related products.
It was believed McCoy was killed by a 15-year-old suspect who was upset about a bad product he’d sold, authorities say.
A review of McCoy’s Snapchat records revealed a message sent on September 26 to the suspect stating a cartridge McCoy sold to them was melted after the suspect attempted to smoke the cartridge with an open flame lighter.
McCoy later sent a separate message stating he was intending to replace the broken cartridge, court documents say.
Messages and geo-location data linked the suspect to McCoy and the crime scene.
On October 15, PCSO said enough evidence was gathered to justify a search warrant for the teen suspect’s home.
PCSO said an electric scooter matching the one seen on security video being used by the suspect before and after the homicide was located at the home during the search.
The suspect was reportedly out of state at the time of the search warrant. Detectives made contact with the suspect’s parents and requested that he turn himself in.
On Wednesday, October 20, the suspect self-surrendered to PCSO with an attorney present.
The 15-year-old suspect was booked into Pinal County Juvenile Detention Center for first-degree murder.