Coroner Reveals Fatal Drug Combo for Pilot, Wife
Brian and Courtney Halye injected cocaine laced with elephant tranquilizer carfentanil
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2017 6:40 AM CDT
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Brian and Courtney Halye.   (NBC News)

(Newser) – The reason four kids in Ohio woke up to find their parents dead: Brian and Courtney Halye not only injected cocaine, they injected cocaine laced with a tranquilizer so potent it's used on elephants and rhinos. The Montgomery County coroner has concluded that the Halyes used cocaine mixed with carfentanil, a lethal derivative of fentanyl, reports People. The coroner can't say whether the couple knew the cocaine was tainted, only that they injected a fatal dose. The story first made headlines in March not only because their four children, ages 9 to 13, found them on their bedroom floor but because Brian Halye, 36, was a pilot for Spirit Airlines who had flown just a week prior to his death.

The Dayton Daily News notes that the deaths are consistent with a pattern of overdoses in which people combine opioids such as fentanyl and its derivatives with cocaine or other drugs. Carfentanil is particularly potent: 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and 1,000 times more powerful than morphine. Last month, the medical examiner in Ohio's Cuyahoga County told a Senate subcommittee that he believed drug dealers were secretly lacing cocaine with fentanyl to increase addiction in the black community, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It's not clear when Brian Halye had his last drug test as a pilot. (These 10 states have the biggest drug problems.)

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