Local News

Three dead, six ill linked to drugs in Chatham County

Posted December 6, 2014
Updated December 8, 2014

— 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.


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  • 678devilish Dec 8, 2014

    "Our concern is that there may be more drugs out there and more deaths."

    There is and I pray they will do all they can to find out who lace the cocaine.

  • 678devilish Dec 8, 2014

    Cocaine is illegal. Period! Those that use these illegal drugs should absolutely seek help before they die from it.

  • Fanny Chmelar Dec 8, 2014
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    Humanity: you're doing it wrong.

  • diana123 Dec 8, 2014

    sorry to hear this

  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Dec 8, 2014

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    +1 I read the poem. I'm not a religious person but I do try to sit back for a second, at least, and see what brought people to where they are. If you've never been touched by addiction directly or ondirectly, or if you've not been faced with adversity you've not lived long enough. I do believe that truly rotten people exist and there's nothing you can do for them but I didn't know these men. Therefore, I won't label them

  • miseem Dec 8, 2014

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    The first federal law requiring a prescription for cocaine was in 1914. And for jimcricket, you must be trying to outdo Scrooge for lack of Christmas spirit. Nothing like a little goodwill toward men, right? For this season, I suggest you read/listen to the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, later put to music - "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". Although covering a different time and situation, it still reflects on the troubling attitudes of many people today.

  • disgusted2010 Dec 8, 2014

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    The cocaine use you refer to was prescribed by and administered by physicians. It was once a widely prescribed drug and would still be if not replaced by more efficient ones.

  • gillahull Dec 8, 2014

    My best friend lost Randal Welch his friend. People died and JIMCRICKET15 is worried about is who pays for the hospital bill? Duh hardrugs like this are bad. They should not be done and I hope the cops go after these murders.

  • Brian Jenkins Dec 8, 2014

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    Cocaine hasnt been illegal that long. Many Presidents used cocaine while in the White House. You think people who use cocaine should die? You should find God.

  • jimcricket15 Dec 8, 2014

    "I've never experienced a death by drugs like this," said chief deputy, Mike Roberson. "Our concern is that there may be more drugs out there and more deaths."

    I could care less if these druggies remove themselves from our midst. I do hope the hospitals charge those that survived triple for their wasting of medical care.