A suburban Detroit police department has announced that there is no evidence to support a woman’s claim that her friend, whom she left lying fatally injured in the middle of a roadway, had leaped from the woman’s moving vehicle.
Kentia Fearn told Southfield Police Department investigators that Mia Kanu jumped out of Fearn’s SUV while it was still moving after the two had attended a party this summer.
The 23-year-old Kanu was discovered unresponsive in the roadway in front of an apartment complex in Southfield, Michigan, on June 3 at 4:32 a.m.”
After two days on life support at Ascension Providence Hospital, she was pronounced dead in June. On Sept. 15, Fearn was charged with a felony for failing to stop at an accident resulting in death, carrying a potential five-year prison sentence or a $5,000 fine.
Kanu was a backseat passenger in her friend’s 2022 silver Jeep Compass, according to police.
Kanu’s family, friends, and the SPD held a news conference last week to provide updates on the Tennessee State University veterinary student’s death, dispelling the story that has been floated about how she actually died.
Police Chief Elvin Barren said at a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 21, that video footage did not depict an account that Kanu ejected herself from the vehicle. Instead, the video shows the girl falling as Fearn continued driving at high speed.
Barren questioned what kind of person would not stop to check on the well-being of someone who had fallen from their vehicle, especially when that person is considered a friend.
“What kind of friend is that? I ask all of you that question: Who would do that?” the chief asked, according to the Detroit Free Press.
In the video, a vehicle is seen moving, heading south on Providence Drive. As it approaches an apartment driveway, it slows down briefly and then accelerates past the gated entrance. During this moment, a blurred image shows Kanu falling out of the vehicle, as per police.
Fearn, the driver, does not stop but continues on, as shown in the footage.
“There is no evidence that suggests Mia jumped from the vehicle,” Barren said.
“It would suggest that with the door opened she (Kanu) was in the process of vomiting and, with the motion of the vehicle, fell from the vehicle,” he continued.
In the course of their investigation, police discovered vomit on the door seal and in the vicinity where Kanu was located. Additionally, they located a Jeep key fob and Kanu’s phone.
More information has emerged that shows Fearn went to SPD around 12:25 p.m., later in the day on June 3. She and a friend came to report the incident from her perspective.
Fearn said the chain of events leading to the accident all started after she and her boyfriend got into a physical altercation, and he hit her while they were in the Jeep. Kanu was in the back of the car, sleeping during the fight.
Fearn told the police that her boyfriend had taken her phone and left, getting in his vehicle. She followed him, hoping to get her belongings back, but could not. She then took Kanu’s phone to contact another friend, and when Kanu woke up, she recovered her phone. Fearn’s report was about the boyfriend — not her friend.
After the altercation with her boyfriend, Fearn told police she drove to a nearby apartment complex to pick up another friend. They searched for Kanu in the area but couldn’t find her. Fearn told police she saw an ambulance and emergency lights near where Kanu fell from the car but did not inform authorities of her involvement or that her friend was the victim.
“Evidence suggests she (Fearn) was more concerned about getting a phone back from her boyfriend. Rather than call 911 or to turn the vehicle around to tend to Mia’s injuries, if any, because, again, the car just kept driving,” Barren said.
Autopsy and toxicology reports show that Kanu had a blood alcohol level of .21, which is beyond what is considered legally drunk. It is unclear if Fearn was tested for drugs or alcohol.
The death is still under investigation, and no homicide charges have been leveled. Officers say Fearn and the other person in the vehicle at the time of the young woman’s death are cooperating with authorities.