116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A Montezuma man was arrested this week on charges that he supplied potent morphine to his fiancee in 2020, which resulted in her death.
The arrest comes after a lengthy investigation into the death of 28-year-old Abby Owens on Jan. 28, 2020, according to a news release from the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office.
Chancy Grife, 37, called 911 that day to report he found Owens, his fiancee, unresponsive in bed at 200 E. Harrison St. in Montezuma, according to a criminal complaint.
When Poweshiek County sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found a straw with white powdery residue, a razor blade with white powdery residue and a pill crusher on the bed near the body. They also found other illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia throughout the house.
An autopsy showed mixed drug intoxication, including alprazolam, morphine and oxymorphone.
Investigators believe Grife drove to the Cedar Rapids area the day before with a friend to obtain morphine. The morphine was particularly potent, and Grife was texting Owens on the way back, warning her the morphine was strong and could kill her.
“This investigation has showed several things very clearly. Chancy Grife illegally purchased morphine to give to Abby Owens. He knew the morphine he was giving her was extremely potent, much more so than what she was used to. He knew she could easily overdose on what he gave to her. These facts show that Chancy Grife unintentionally caused the death of Abby Owens by committing a public offense (purchase and delivery of an illegal controlled substance),” the criminal complaint states.
Grife is facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter and drug charges: four counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs, two counts of possession of marijuana, and one count each possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
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