Isaiah Wall's phone kept ringing. The 19-year-old eventually picked up, and found the Idaho State Police on the other end. Best friend Chris Anderson recounts what happened next to the Pacific Northwest Inlander: The caller said police knew Wall's green Mustang had been in a hit-and run; Wall had no idea what they were talking about, and he verifies the car is unscathed. But the caller insisted Wall go to department headquarters in Coeur d'Alene, and so on May 18 he did, accompanied by Anderson. Then things got weird, before getting weirder: Anderson says two officers arrested Wall not for the hit-and-run, which really never did happen, but for being a drug dealer (no charges were ever filed), and allegedly told Wall he could act as an informant or face a potential 10-year sentence. By May 29, Wall was dead.
The Inlander traces the murky case: The first big question mark surrounds what exactly Wall did with the ISP, who thus far will not confirm whether Wall was actually an informant. That Wall dealt drugs is not in dispute; he began doing so at age 17. In the aftermath of Wall's death—by a gunshot wound to the head, ostensibly from the handgun he had on him—mom Courtney McKinnie dug into his iPhone, and uncovered a series of texts between Wall and "Josh" referencing drug deals. Josh typically tells Wall what to buy; Wall often pushes back about the approach not looking natural. The Inlander suspects Josh is actually ISP Detective Josh Clark. And while it's possible Wall committed suicide out of depression, that the police report suggests he shot himself with his left hand raises a red flag for McKinnie. Read the full story here. (Read more Longform stories.)