Overdose deaths could be linked to lethal heroin batch

Published 12:14 am Saturday, April 22, 2017

LAPLACE — A lethal batch of heroin could be the cause of two overdose deaths this week in LaPlace, a possible conclusion that is driving local deputies to find the source of the deadly illegal drug.

In an hour’s time Wednesday morning, 37-year-old Samuel Cooper and 41-year-old Brad Evans, each of LaPlace, were discovered dead.

Causes of death are not determined, but Sheriff Mike Tregre said the initial signs point to heroin overdose.

“What we’re trying to do is identify the source,” Tregre said. “If we get those drugs off the street from the individual who supplied these two individuals with these drugs, that is my No. 1 goal, so no one else will overdose using the drugs that these two guys used.”

Tregre said detectives are not 100 percent convinced of the singe dealer source but are close to certain “this is some type of drug that someone is distributing.”

“The strength of this particular drug, which is probably heroin, is extremely lethal,” Tregre said. “That is why we’re trying to identify the source. We’re getting there.”

Authorities began their investigations Wednesday when family members of Cooper called for help at approximately 6 a.m. saying the victim was having medical issues at his home in the 400 block of Fir Street.

Authorities discovered Cooper unresponsive and not breathing on the floor of a bedroom.

Officers and emergency services attempted to render medical aid but were unsuccessful.

An autopsy and toxicology reports are pending, and Tregre said a timeline on medical answers is undetermined.

Also on Wednesday, Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 500 block of West Second Street in LaPlace at 7 a.m. after a passerby reported an unresponsive man in the ditch.

Emergency Medical Services personnel arriving on the scene requested the coroner, who pronounced Evans dead.

Upon initial investigation, officers found no visible evidence of trauma to the body with the initial determination that the victim died of an overdose while walking along West Second Street.

“It’s still possible he could have died in a car and somebody just pushed him out, but the only thing we have right now is he fell right there and died,” Tregre said.

“We have nothing to suggest foul play in either case as of this time.”

An autopsy and toxicology reports are pending for Evans, with a timeline for results not immediately available.