TUXEDO PARK, N.Y. (PIX11) — Theresa and Kevin McDevitt Sr., of Orange County, refused to take a police officer’s word when he notified them on Aug. 31, 2010, that their only son, Kevin Junior, had died from a fatal cocktail of drugs inside an Atlantic City motel room.
“I was having a nervous breakdown. I was shaking to where I couldn’t stand up,” Kevin Senior recalled to PIX11 Investigates. “They assumed my son was a heroin user. He’s definitely not.”
The McDevitts have been on a four-year odyssey to prove the Atlantic City police were wrong in their initial assessment that 21-year old-Kevin died from an accidental overdose inside Room 207 at the Rodeway Inn in Atlantic City.
“I’ve never seen him do any hard drugs,” said McDevitt’s friend, Mike, who didn’t want his full identity revealed.
Mike went on the spontaneous road trip with Kevin McDevitt Jr. and two other friends on Aug. 30, 2010. They were supposed to meet girls in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
When the original plans fell through, the young men decided to drive to Atlantic City, where Mike’s father had a room in the Tropicana Hotel.
On the final leg of the trip, on the Atlantic City Expressway, Kevin McDevitt Jr. was in a minor crash with his Volkswagen Passat that required the car to be towed.
Mike’s father picked them up and took them to the Tropicana.
McDevitt was upset about his car and the fact that a bottle of Jack Daniels had been drained by the other guys, while he drove the group the entire way.
He left five messages for his mother, indicating that he wanted to take a bus home to Tuxedo Park, New York.
He left the Tropicana Hotel room with a shoe box that carried a dress shirt and his Air Jordan sneakers. His friend Mike said he didn’t notice that McDevitt was leaving with his box.
He thought McDevitt was simply going to the casino for a drink.
“The only thing he wanted to do, he was looking to have a couple of drinks,” Mike told PIX11 News.
Kevin McDevitt Jr. never returned to the Tropicana Hotel room, and the next morning, Mike tried to page him on the casino loudspeaker. His friends later searched the boardwalk, hoping to find him.
They later learned that Kevin McDevitt, Jr. was found dead on a bed inside Room 207 at the Rodeway Inn, a little more than a mile away from the Tropicana.
McDevitt’s parents soon discovered that a convicted pimp had rented the room.
Two prostitutes later stated the pimp—who registered as Romale Tyson—had brought McDevitt to Room 107 sometime after 5 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2010.
One of the prostitutes told police they later saw Tyson and another man carry McDevitt—who seemed intoxicated—to Room 207, where he was found dead.
Police who initially responded to the scene found two Q-tips and a glasine envelope in the trash can near the bed where McDevitt was discovered dead.
An autopsy and toxicology report showed that Kevin died from a fatal overdose of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and traces of Xanax.
But McDevitt’s parents were extremely troubled by what happened with their son’s bank card in the hours before his death—and in the days that followed.
The card initially showed activity in two boardwalk ATMs and then a local bodega after 4 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2010. A total of $400 was withdrawn.
But then after 5 a.m., withdrawal attempts were rejected, after an incorrect PIN number was entered into other ATMs.
Later, cash withdrawals were successfully made in ATMs at Rite Aids and surveillance images showed women dressed in wigs getting the money, using McDevitt’s card.
His card was also used in the days after his death to pay for meals at the Atlantic City Bar and Inn. More than $6,000 was taken from his account.
McDevitt’s mother and father have made it their mission to prove their son was drugged, abducted, robbed and ultimately killed.
When they wrote to the Rodeway Inn, the manager sent them back a copy of Romale Tyson’s license, which was used to register at the hotel.
The McDevitts learned Tyson had several aliases and many prior arrests, including one for human trafficking in Miami. One federal conviction was overturned on a technicality.
Police later showed the parents statements from two prostitutes who said they were at the Rodeway Inn when Kevin McDevitt Jr. was brought there by Tyson, aka “Snake” the pimp.
The McDevitts said they saw a police statement made by one prostitute claiming Tyson was yelling at McDevitt to give him the correct PIN number for his bank card.
This same prostitute told police she saw Tyson and another man carry a clearly intoxicated McDevitt Junior up to Room 207 at the Rodeway Inn.
In our next report, PIX11 Investigates tells you about the woman who contacted the McDevitt family claiming she had been trained by Romale Tyson—also known as Stacey Greer—to drug and rob victims.
Despite the family’s efforts, the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office said it didn’t have the evidence to indict Greer for anything more than a “strict liability” felony, which means he’s charged with providing the drugs that caused McDevitt’s death but not with homicide.
The family received crucial information from a woman who contacted them through a website they created about their son’s case.