South Charleston, West Virginia, Police reported that two parents died early on Easter Sunday of a heroin overdose while their three children were in the house. According to WSAZ, firefighters originally thought they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Ray “Austin” Pullium and his wife Amanda Pullium, both 35, were found dead inside their South Charleston, West Virginia, home. After air tests indicated that carbon monoxide was not present, detectives were alerted to continue the investigation.
Detectives found several hypodermic needles throughout the house. Police believe that the couple overdosed after buying stronger heroin than they can usually get their hands on. Because of the increased potency, their usual dose may have been fatal.
Terry Sayre, chair of the Law Enforcement Commission for the Public Safety Grant Committee, said that Kanawha County "pill mills," or doctor’s offices that hand out prescription medication without proper cause, are being shut down. This has led many pill abusers to try heroin because it is cheap and easy to get.
However, Sayre said that overdoses like the ones on Easter Sunday are a result of varying heroin quality.
“You never know if you’re getting something that’s three percent, five percent, ten percent or twenty percent,” he told Metro News. “You’re buying it from a drug dealer on the street who’s out to make money and he doesn’t know what it has even been cut with.”
Neighbor Stan Forrest was surprised at the deaths, telling WSAZ: “They seem like a normal family. I just think it’s so sad that drugs are so prevalent now that something like this could happen and leave some children orphaned.”
Police reported that there were eight reported overdoses in Kanawha County on Sunday.
Photo Source: Look For Diagnosis, Steven Depolo/Flickr