Local News

Men's deaths could be related to recreational drug

Posted October 8, 2010

— The deaths of two men found on a second-story fire escape of a Raleigh apartment complex might have been related to a substance marketed as plant food.

Raleigh police said Friday that a preliminary investigation into the deaths of Ray Allan Ausbon, 21, and Zachary Martin Tigner, 19, found mephedrone could have been involved in their deaths.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the substance, also known as “drone,” “meow-meow,” “bubbles” or “bounce,” is being increasingly used among young males, ages 15-24, as a recreational drug in the nightclub scene because of its hallucinogenic effects.

It is legal and sold over the Internet, not only as plant food, but also as a research chemical and bath salts, according to the DEA.

“It obviously has pretty permanent side-effects and people need to know that,” Ausbon’s father, Doug Ausbon, said Friday. “It's not a club drug. It's not a recreational drug. It's a very, very dangerous drug.”

Web only: Ausbon family interview Web only: Ausbon family interview Ausbon and Tigner were found Saturday morning on the fire escape outside Ausbon's apartment in the Boylan Apartments complex near downtown Raleigh.

Both graduated from Apex High School and were members of Apex Methodist Church. Ausbon was a senior honors student studying accounting at North Carolina State University, and Tigner attended Gardner-Webb University and was scheduled to report to U.S. Army boot camp this week.

“It always happens to someone else. Now, we're somebody else. It happens, and it could happen to anybody,” Doug Ausbon said. “You can't prepare for this, and you don't want any other parent to go through this at all.”


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  • prophetdavis08 Oct 8, 2010

    This is very sad, I am praying for the families, I know it is hard on both of them!

  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Oct 8, 2010

    How very sad!! Who in the world would want to see something that isn't there! I want to be in control of my facilities, at ALL times!

    So sorry for the families.


  • NoObamaCare Oct 8, 2010

    Kids will always find a way to get high! Back in the day, kids inhaled glue and paint.. "huffing"; now they are resorting to plant food and fertilizer to make meth! You can ban all the drugs you want, they will use their creativity to find new ways of getting the desired effect they are looking for.

  • zwest64 Oct 8, 2010

    Don't get me wrong, I feel sorry for these kids.. I really do. But kids like these are responsible for themselves, don't blame it on the drug. The parents are completely illogical and irrational, and know nothing about what they are calling "dangerous". Do some research on synthetic stimulants before you label them and eventually ruin the pleasure for others. You cannot blame the death of these kids on a drug, you can blame it on themselves, knowing the amount they took was too much. It can happen with ANY drug. 4-MMC is no different from say, basic benzodiazepines when it comes to overdosing..

  • ncmickey Oct 8, 2010

    It aint no different than when I was a kid... just the substance. Kids I knew experimented with gasoline(huffing), paint, smoking banana peels, snorting diet pills, whipits from whipped cream cans, along with pot, alcohol, lsd, coke, shrooms, crank, speed, ect.

    Some are dead.... most are alive and well adjusted... some are in AA....

  • ncmickey Oct 8, 2010

    If they wanted MJ, they woulda got some MJ.... they are in college.... its everywhere.....
    They wanted to trip out... and died for it...

  • floseh Oct 8, 2010

    The thing that's missing in their lives was God. If you have Him, you don't need drugs. Very simple.

    The Floseh

  • plmbgold Oct 8, 2010

    Wildcat...it wasn't a "drug" that killed them...it was plant food!!!! Are we supposed to ban everything???

  • shortcake53 Oct 8, 2010

    We have already raised two sons into adulthood which was scarey enough, but now we are raising a grandson also. It scares me to death to know there is so much more the kids have access to now.
    What we try to focus on is there is so much more in life that can make you happy, without using chemicals. If a problem does arise,a pill wont fix it. When you come down off the drug, the problem will still be there, so lets fix it another way. Communication and coping skills early in life may diminish the attraction of trying drugs. I'm sure these boys were great sons and dearly loved, they were very nice looking young men. I pray for their families, and also that maybe someone else will learn from this.

  • wildcat Oct 8, 2010

    My condolences to the family and many friends of both.