KSU student charged in Milton man's drug death

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MILTON — Milton police arrested a 21-year-old Kennesaw State University student Dec. 9 and charged him in the January death of a Milton man.
Capt. Shawn McCarty, a spokesman with the Milton Police Department, said Matthew Kunkle of Woodstock was arrested at the school and charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He is the prime suspect in the death of 21-year-old Alexander Van Ess, who died Jan. 11 at his home on Owens Lake Road in Milton.
According to a police report, Van Ess’ father found him unconscious in his bedroom after the man’s employer called asking where he was. The young man held a poker party with some friends the night he died, said police, and Kunkle was a participant.
Milton police said the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Van Ess died as a result of the combined effects of alprazolam, a generic form of Xanax, and methadone.
McCarty would not say what allegedly tied Kunkle to the drugs or Van Ess’ death. He also would not comment on the nature of Van Ess and Kunkle’s
relationship.
“There is another side of the investigation that is still ongoing,” he said.
According to Fulton County Jail records, Kunkle was released from Fulton County Jail Dec. 10 on a $110,000 bond.