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Family Wants Answers In Munhall Man's Suspicious Death

MUNHALL (KDKA) – It's a death that has troubled a local family and their community for nearly a year.

Codi Joyce – nicknamed Geno – was found unresponsive at a house party in Munhall on Sept. 27, 2015. He was 23 years old.

His death was ruled a homicide, but no arrests have been made. Now, Joyce's family wants to see someone face charges.

"He loved his sports, loved his music. [He] was loved by a lot of people," says John Joyce, Cody's father. "Unfortunately, he was brutally murdered Sept. 27, his life cut short at 23 years of age."

Joyce's father says he won't rest until he finds out who killed his son.

"I want justice for Codi. [The] people who committed this crime need to pay. He's forever erased from our lives, and they're still walking around, going to parties, going to holidays with their families. They need to pay for what they did to him."

Allegheny County Police won't say much about the case, just that the investigation is ongoing. They have interviewed at least three of the four young men believed to have gotten into an argument with Joyce that September night.

Sources say the men told police that Joyce was drunk and belligerent. Toxicology reports show Joyce's blood alcohol level was 2.0 - more than twice the legal limit.

The men say Joyce refused to leave. After that, the details get a little blurred. One version of the story says that the men kicked Joyce out of the party, but he later returned. The men allegedly told police that things escalated, and that they tried to restrain Joyce. They say his death was unintentional.

Joyce's father, however, says the men beat up his son causing injuries so severe, he later died.

"Jumped by at least four people that we know of," says John Joyce. "Choked. And, later, we were told [he was] head-stomped."

Codi Joyce was pronounced dead at UPMC Mercy Hospital. The emergency room physician said he had significant head trauma. An autopsy report confirms that assessment, saying Joyce had blunt force wounds to the head, trunk and extremities.

But the medical examiner's report revealed additional details.

Dr. Karl Williams ruled that Joyce died of asphyxiation after his neck was compressed.

"A choke hold. More than what you think of as a manual strangulation," says Dr. Williams.

He later ruled Joyce's death a homicide because it was neither an accident, nor a suicide.

"Homicide simply means someone died at the hands of someone else," says Dr. Williams "Clearly, that was the case here."

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office has not filed any charges in the case, saying it's unclear which of the men may have caused Joyce's death. According to a statement released by the office, "It was explained to the family of the deceased that this matter is not prosecutable at this time. It remains open. Among other evidentiary issues is the fact that the medical examiner cannot offer an opinion as to which individual or individuals are responsible for the fatal injuries."

The lack of resolution in the case has divided the town. Friends and family of Codi Joyce have held marches calling for justice, and even put out lawn signs asking for answers.

Others support the young men who were at the party. There have been confrontations and incidents of vandalism.

Joyce's family wants a grand jury to call in witnesses to testify under oath.

The District Attorney's Office says it has no further comments at this time.

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