PARK CITY — Toxicology tests released by Park City police Thursday confirm that two 13-year-old boys — best friends who died in within days of each other — overdosed on "pink."
"The Utah Medical Examiner’s Office has determined the cause of death for both 13-year-old boys, Ryan Ainsworth and Grant Seaver, to be acute drug intoxication of U-47700, the synthetic opioid known as 'pink,'" according to a prepared statement from the Park City Police Department.
In September, the two Treasure Mountain Junior High classmates died within 48 hours of each other.
In October, a 15-year-old Park City boy was charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court in Summit County with distribution of a controlled or counterfeit substance, a second-degree felony, and reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court Friday.
Almost immediately after the boys' deaths, Park City police began focusing on a possible U-47700 overdose due to social media chat from the boys' peers. The Park City School District sent out warnings to parents at all of its schools and worked with police to conduct extensive locker checks.
Search warrants unsealed in October indicated that two teens had ordered the then legal substance from China and had it mailed to a friend's house. The package, which was shipped from Shanghai, China, contained "a clear bag containing a white powder substance," the affidavit states.
The teenage boy charged "is responsible for ordering the controlled substance or controlled substance analog from the internet, specifically the 'dark web,'" the warrant states.
The drugs arrived at a friend's house and the friend then gave the drugs to the 15-year-old. The 15-year-old also allegedly distributed some drugs he ordered to another teenager who has not been charged, a Park City High student. An informant said she "personally witnessed (the 15-year-old) distribute the substance to two of (his) juvenile friends," according to the affidavit.
As of Oct. 7, U-47700 became a Schedule I drug in the United States, meaning it has no known medical beneficial purpose.
In announcing the toxicology results, police on Thursday also reminded parents to be knowledgable about the drug to watch for signs in their own homes. "Pink," which can be a white powder or mixed in a liquid form, can be deadly even in small doses. Even contact with a person's skin from the drug can be fatal.
Juveniles typically try to conceal the drug in nasal inhalers and other dropper bottles, according to police. Detectives also warn parents to look for unmarked packages sent to their mailboxes from Asian countries.
Police say if someone suspects a person has U-47700 in their home, they should contact law enforcement and not try to touch it themselves.