Toni Anderson's death ruled accidental, drugs involved

Posted at 10:40 AM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 23:14:37-04

The Jackson County Medical Examiner has ruled Toni Anderson’s death accidental, and the cause of death was hypothermia and drowning. 

Police said contributing factors included ethanol, cocaine and amphetamine intoxication.

The 20-year-old was reported missing in January. Friends said Anderson left work early on Sunday, January 15 from a local club and had planned to meet a friend. 

A North Kansas City Police Department officer conducted a traffic stop involving Anderson on January 15 at 4:25 a.m., according to the police department. 

The interaction was captured on the dash camera system of the police car. Anderson's family had tried to get the video released, but police said because it was an open investigation they couldn't release it. 

Now that the investigation is closed, North Kansas City police have released the video. Click here to watch it.

“I think it puts to bed a lot of rumors that have been circulating, especially regarding the police stop,” Roxanne Townsend, Anderson's best friend, said.

According to the autopsy report, at the time of her death, Anderson was metabolizing amphetamines that she didn't have a prescription for, cocaine and alcohol.

Anderson's blood alcohol content was .14, twice the legal limit, according to examiners. 

This is now raising new concerns among Anderson's friends.

“She should have been taken in if she was that intoxicated,” Townsend said.

The North Kansas City Police Department said it has reviewed the video and circumstances surrounding the stop. Based on that review, they believe the officer's actions were reasonable.

Criminal defense attorney John Picerno is known for “policing the police.” He does not see any wrongdoing by the officer.

“You know, I think you gotta give him the benefit of the doubt. He's doing that every night, he's a professional,” Picerno said. “He could have given her a ticket and released her. He could have arrested her and she could have bonded out in hours, the same thing could have happened. I don't think any form, way, stretch of the imagination this officer should be held liable for doing what we expect of an officer to do in this situation."

In March, police recovered Anderson’s car from the Missouri River in Parkville. Detectives found her body inside the car. 


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