Ohio Coroner Says Boy, 12, Died From An Overdose Of The Powerful Opioid Fentanyl At Birthday Party
A Franklin County coroner has determined that 12-year-old Kanye Champelle, who was found unresponsive during a birthday party sleepover in July, was killed by an accidental overdose of the potent opioid fentanyl, and not from choking on gum, as previously thought.
Paramedics who arrived at the scene removed a wad of chewing gum from Kanye’s throat. The coroner later concluded that while choking was a factor it was not the direct cause of death. The boy was transported to the hospital initially but tragically died two days after he was found unresponsive.
As reported by WCMH-TV, Dr. Anahi Ortiz, Franklin County coroner, said that he could find no evidence of an injection, and the autopsy did not indicate how contact might have occurred.
Columbus law enforcement also told WCMH that they are investigating how the boy was exposed to the drug before he was discovered during his cousin’s birthday party at an east side apartment.
Columbus Police spokesman Sgt. Dean Worthington:
“Our Narcotics Bureau is looking into it and our Homicide Bureau is looking into it. What we want to know is how the child got in touch with the fentanyl. Where did it come from.”
Latice Champelle, Kanye’s mother, said that she did not have custody of her son because of a history of drug abuse, but she has now been clean for over three years.
“I’m not on drugs anymore, and this is the reason why. Because I didn’t want to die. I don’t want to die. This is not fair.”
She also said she was never satisfied by the choking via chewing gum, explanation, but the truth was still a shock:
“I don’t understand how he got a hold of that stuff. How did he get that? Where was it at? Why would you all have it around my son?”
Fentanyl is a synthetic drug similar to heroin, but as much as 50 times more powerful. It is believed that in many U.S. communities it is now involved in half of all overdose deaths.
~ G. Natalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology