Three dead, six ill linked to drugs in Chatham County
Posted December 6, 2014
Updated December 8, 2014
Siler City, N.C. — Chatham County deputies say three people have died and six people were sent to the hospital early Saturday after using cocaine that appeared to be laced with some kind of chemical.
Michael Currie, 42, of Bear Creek, Randal Welch, 24, of Franklinville and Perry Saunders, 23, of Aurora, Missouri, died.
A chemist from the North Carolina Department of Justice identified a sample collected from one of the scenes as a combination of cocaine and fentanyl.
The deaths occurred within several hours of each other in the Siler City and Bear Creek areas. According to investigators, Currie died at his home, and Saunders and Welch died at a home in the 11000 block of N.C. Highway 902 in Bear Creek.
"I've never experienced a death by drugs like this," said Chatham County Chief Deputy Mike Roberson. "Our concern is that there may be more drugs out there and more deaths."
Roberson said authorities are looking to determine how the group got the drugs and where they were using the drugs.
Investigators said those that were treated were taken to three area hospitals.
The bodies of those who died will be sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.