Deputies investigating two suspected overdose deaths
STEVENSVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two suspicious deaths that occurred sometime early Sunday morning, May 21, inside a residence in the 300-block of Creekside Commons Court. The deaths appear to be drug related and overdoses are suspected, police said.
Deputies responded to the report of a deceased male at 1:36 p.m. and found Anthony George Reno, 21, dead in the dining room; they also found Carson David Freedman, 21, dead in an upstairs bedroom.
Various drug paraphernalia was found near both bodies, police said. The bodies were sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore for autopsies. Deputies also seized an unknown type of drug found at the scene for testing.
Sheriff Gary Hofmann said police suspect heroin but don’t know what it may have been laced with, and there were also trace amounts of cocaine found.
“This was not a normal substance,” he said.
The deaths will be classified as “suspicious” until police get the autopsies and the toxicology report back on the substance and conclude their investigation, Hofmann said.
Queen Anne’s County has the third lowest rate of overdose deaths in the state, but there were three overdoses in the county last weekend, Hofmann said.
Deputies responded to the first on Friday night in Chester; in that case, the opioid antidote naloxone was administered and the person revived, he said. Reno and Freedman’s overdoses happened late Saturday or early Sunday, and it was too late to administer an antidote when they were found.
Hofmann released a video message Tuesday, May 23, inviting drug users to contact him for help with their addiction and issuing a warning to drug dealers.
“... heroin and opiates lead to death, and that is not something I want your families or your friends to deal with in our community. Death should not be an option. Treatment is available,” he tells drug users in the video. He directs addicts to a brochure on the sheriff’s office website, queenannessheriff.org, for resources and even invites them to come to the office for assistance in finding treatment.
“We are coming for you,” he tells the drug dealers, listing the many allied agencies working with the Drug Task Force. “... I can assure you we will hunt you down, and we will come knocking on your door.”
The timing of the video was mere chance, he said. It was filmed by QAC-TV last week, and the editing was finished Monday. By Wednesday night, May 24, the video had been viewed more than 25,000 times. It’s just another weapon in the fight against the growing epidemic, he said.
“Queen Anne’s County identified the problem three years ago. We could see it coming,” Hofmann said.
Local deputies were among the first on the Eastern Shore to be trained to administer naloxone and to carry it.
The sheriff’s office has done presentations at schools and spoken to community groups to try to raise awareness.
Hofmann said biggest obstacle they face is attitude, “It’s not my child,” “They’re a ‘good’ kid,” “That’s not going to happen to me.”