Authorities fighting 'heroin crisis' in Madison County -

Authorities fighting 'heroin crisis' in Madison County

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

(KMOV) -- Madison County authorities are trying a new approach after there were three deadly suspected heroin overdoses in a five-hour span last week.

Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz says he'll be joining the county's top prosecutor, Tom Gibbons, to convene a panel to talk out possible answers to the problem. It could be as early as next week. Hertz says that group may include substance-abuse treatment providers, educators and perhaps addicts.
The county's coroner, Steve Nonn, says his office already has handled six suspected heroin deaths this year. Last year, there were 23 in the county, more than three times the number in 2009.
Nonn calls heroin providers "dealers in death."
Police continue to investigate three apparent overdose deaths that happened in the county last week.
According to the coroner, the victims were discovered dead in their homes with evidence of drug use or paraphernalia.

Katie Heavey, 29, was found by her father at her home in the 100 block of Skyline View Drive in Collinsville on Feb. 13. Police said they found drug paraphernalia at the scene

Roxana police said Dearold Oseland, 38, was discovered dead by his girlfriend at his home in the 200 block of Elm Street just after midnight on Feb. 14 Friday. Drug paraphernalia was also found at the scene. His autopsy was inconclusive and toxicology tests were still pending.

A couple hours later, Granite City police said Paul Simpson, 40, was pronounced dead at his home in the 2500 block of Grand Avenue. Police said evidence of drug use was found at the home of Simpson, who they say had a history of drug abuse.

Both Gibbons and Hertz plan to discuss their plans to address the ongoing heroin crisis they say continues to plague the county.

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