Gray Death Found in the Tri-State


Law enforcement has feared it might make its way to the Tri-State, and those fears have been realized. The Vanderburgh County Coroner confirms that Evansville has had it’s first fatal overdose from a deadly drug known as Gray Death.

Gray Death is the street term for a deadly cocktail, usually containing at least heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil which is an elephant tranquilizer.

It can be thousands of times more powerful than morphine.

Coroner Steve Lockyear says toxicology results confirmed a 45 year old woman fatally overdosed on the drug last month.

Gray Death may be responsible for the fatal overdoses of at least three people, but the coroner’s office is waiting for more testing.

Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear says, “One of the things that scares me the most is that it’s not only dangerous for the user — we obviously know that. But just the handling and being around it can be a danger to kids or other family members or other people in the home.”

Because of this, Lockyear says his office and area law enforcement have had to implement new procedures at overdose scenes.

No longer does law enforcement field test anything that might be heroin. Instead, the substance is sent to the lab.

Lockyear says there have been 26 confirmed fatal heroin or fentanyl overdoses so far this year.

That number could increase to 30 as his office awaits toxicology results. That number would already eclipse 2016’s total of 29.

Lockyear says a majority of the overdoses happened in the 47714 zip code, which is the southeast side.

However, every zip code has had an overdose.

The average age of the overdose victims in 2016 was 37.

(This story was originally published June 8, 2017)

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