Weekend heroin overdose victim identified; three others remain hospitalized after Saturday incidents
Adrian Richard Dunn, 39, of Bemidji, was pronounced dead at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, less than a mile from where sheriff's deputies found him just after 5:30 a.m., unable to breathe. The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and the Bemidji Police Department have not released details about the other three patients but did say they are receiving treatment locally, and that officials are looking into the idea that all four patients received their drugs from the same source.
According to the sheriff's office:
Deputies received an emergency medical call at 5:31 a.m. and responded to an apartment at 616 Patriot Drive NW, where they found Dunn unable to breathe. Attempts by deputies to revive Dunn were unsuccessful, and he was taken by ambulance to the emergency room just down the road. He was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
The sheriff's office responded Saturday to another heroin overdose east of town, and the police department responded to two more within city limits. In a place where heroin has grown increasingly prevalent in the past couple years, Saturday underscored a problem that law enforcement here have been trying months to solve.
"We know as a whole the nation is suffering with a lot of heroin, and we're not immune to that," said Ernie Beitel, chief deputy at the sheriff's office. "We've spent a lot of days working on this, we've been working really hard on this ....
"It's all over," he said about heroin. "It's over-whelming."
Law enforcement re-covered trace amounts of the drug Saturday, and sent the samples to be tested.
It was unusual, he said, that four calls would come in on the same day. The rash of overdoses suggests the people in question were using the same drug, perhaps strengthened or modified.
"We don't know if it's a more pure form of hero-in, or if it was adulterated with another drug or chemical," Beitel said. The testing might pro-vide some answers.
Anyone with knowledge about Saturday's cases or with information about the distribution of heroin in the community is asked to contact law enforcement at (218) 333-9111.
"If we know family or friends who are opioid users, heroin users, we need to help these people get a clue," Beitel said. "Families need to step in and get them the help they need, whatever needs to be done.
"Until that point, we'll continue to have a problem."