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Police probe 4 unattended deaths

PROVO — Police are investigating a string of unattended deaths, three of which may be linked to the use of prescription drugs.

Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 5, police had the daunting task of dealing with four deaths, all of which occurred in the victims' home or apartments, police say. In three of the cases prescription medications were found with the victims.

Police believe the fourth and last death, on Oct. 5, may be related to an apparent disease the victim contracted while in the Dominican Republic where he had reportedly visited his new wife. Her return to the United States was delayed while she waited for her visa, according to a published report.

The man had family members living in Utah County who hadn't seen or heard from him since Oct. 1 and knew he was ill, said Karen Mayne, Provo Police public information officer. They became concerned and went to his apartment, found his car there and the door to his residence locked. The television was on.

Police entered the apartment with family members and found the body.

Police and the state medical examiner are continuing the investigations and autopsies are pending, Mayne said.

"To have four deaths in five days is more than usual," she said. "I can't recall when we've had so many."

The first death, on Oct. 1, involved a 35-year-old woman who lived with a roommate. However, a family member discovered her body.

"She had various medical conditions," Mayne said.

The second death, which occurred the following day, involved a man, 26, who lived with his parents.

"Prescription drugs were found at the scene, but it wasn't clear if they had anything to do (with the death)," she said.

The third death, which occurred Oct. 3, involved a man, 23, who lived with three other roommates. He too, was found with several medications, but police haven't determined if the drugs were involved.


E-mail: rodger@desnews.com