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Investigators gather public info
Four people in Frio County have died in a two-day span from what police believe is a lethal batch of cocaine.
Pearsall police say their first call related to the poisoned drug came through emergency dispatch at 1:15 a.m. Saturday, July 2, to a residence on West San Antonio Street, where officers found two unresponsive men, 44-year-old Luis Alfredo Salinas and an unidentified 48-year-old, lying in the driveway.
Both were transported to Frio Regional Hospital by ambulance; Salinas later died and the other man remains in the hospital in critical condition as of press time.
Officers searched the home and found a bag of cocaine close to where both men had lain, according to a report. Investigating officers also discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The report indicates that neither of the men appeared to have suffered physical trauma; witness statements noted that the pair had not been involved in an altercation.
“At this time officers believe that the subjects could have overdosed from the narcotics that were discovered at the residence,” the department reported in a prepared statement at the time.
Two days later, emergency dispatchers sent officers to a home on East Comal Street after receiving reports of two deceased people inside a home.
Police arrived at the residence to find 70-year-old Juan Rendon and 69-year-old Aurora Rendon dead.
Officers examining the scene reported finding no signs of forced entry or trauma to the couple, but did find a bag of cocaine in the home.
The police department has confirmed that officers learned during initial interviews with family members that the couple had a history of recreational drug use that included cocaine.
Hours later, Pearsall police found 26-year-old Esperanza Fernandez inside her residence on South Oak Street. Paramedics arrived on scene to provide medical attention, but the woman had died.
A report on that case indicates that the home was secure and there was no trauma to Fernandez. Narcotics were found inside the home.
All four deaths are under investigation by the medical examiner and the narcotics have been sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab.
“While all illegal narcotics are dangerous, it appears that there is a particular batch possibly being sold and consumed that is causing death,” a statement from the Frio County Sheriff’s office stated. “We are attempting to locate the source and are asking the public for their assistance with any information they have.”
Both departments are reminding the public that any and all tips will remain anonymous.