This story was updated at 6:40 p.m. Feb. 10, 2014.
A Vienna man pleaded guilty Monday to tampering with evidence in the case of a 16-year-old McLean girl whose body was discovered last August.
Kyle Alifom, 20, admitted that he tried to hide the body of Emylee Lonczak, who died from a heroin overdose. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the charge. He will be sentenced on May 16.
Alifom’s attorney, Kevin R. Brehm of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Alexandria, did not return messages left for him seeking comment.
Lonczak’s body was discovered Aug. 23, 2013, in between two homes in the 8200 block of Madrillon Estates Drive in Vienna, about four miles from her own home in the 1500 block of Cedar Avenue in McLean.
A recently unsealed affidavit filed in U.S. District Court by Fairfax County Police Detective Stephen M. Needels states that on Aug. 21, Lonczak, a McLean High School student, had been in the company of Alifom and two other unidentified men.
The group of four traveled together to Washington, D.C., to purchase heroin, the affidavit states. Afterward, the group parked their vehicle somewhere in the District and injected themselves with the heroin.
The affidavit states that Lonczak, unable to find a vein to inject herself with a 30cc dose of heroin that eventually killed her, received help from one of the men.
Later, she became unconscious in the vehicle. While Lonczak was potentially in need of medical attention, the affidavit states that “Alifom suggested that they dump Lonczak’s body somewhere in the District of Columbia.”
But the two unidentified men disagreed and continued back to Fairfax County, dropping her off, still unconscious, at Alifom’s Vienna home, along with Alifom, according to the affidavit.
Needels said in the affidavit that Alifom admitted that Lonczak died in his presence and that fearing retribution, “he dragged Lonczak’s body through the grass to an area of shrubbery [where he] left her body … and placed a screen window over her in an attempt to conceal the body from others.”
Court records state that a physical examination of Lonczak’s body revealed she had never injected heroin before.
Alifom had a history of drug abuse going back at least three years at the time of Lonczak’s death.
Court records state that when he was 16, Alifom underwent drug treatment at a residential facility in North Carolina. Since then, he had attempted treatment in two Fairfax County residential treatment programs but left one program before completion, and was in the process of being discharged from the other program based on noncompliant behavior. He had also been court-ordered to attend drug treatment classes with Virginia Alcohol and Drug Services as a condition of his probation, but was also noncompliant there, and eventually served a jail term for failing to comply with the terms of his probation, court records state.
In a Jan. 25 request to deny bond for Alifom, Acting U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente states that Alifom “has demonstrated a pattern of failing to comply with court ordered conditions of release by continuing to use drugs, refusing to follow through with treatment, and committing new crimes, including the current offense.”
Peggy Cook, director of Residential Treatment Services for Fairfax County, said that A New Beginning — the residential program that court records say Alifom was being discharged from for noncompliance at the time of Lonczak’s death — has an overall success rate of about 60 percent. “That is better than the national average of 50 percent,” she said.
Cook said that Crossroads Youth, the other Fairfax County residential treatment program that court records say Alifom left before completing when he was 17, is a 15-bed facility that recently has only been able to house 10 boys at a time due to staffing issues.
“If someone leaves the program early against staff advice we try to re-engage them,” she said. “Sometimes they respond and sometimes they don’t.”