Man dead, 2 women hospitalized after possibly ingesting fentanyl at Moreno Valley hotel


A man died and two women were hospitalized Friday after possibly ingesting fentanyl in a Moreno Valley hotel room.

Riverside County sheriff's deputies and paramedics were sent to the Best Western Hotel & Suites in the 24800 block of Elder Avenue about 6:20 a.m.

According to a sheriff's department statement, the three victims, whose identities were not disclosed, were found in a room with "drug paraphernalia.''

"Upon arrival they determined that one man was deceased and two women were actually transported to the hospital for treatment," said Sgt. Wendy Brito-Gonzalez with the Riverside sheriff's department.

The two women remained hospitalized with injuries that investigators describe as life-threatening. No arrests were made, and no suspects were identified in connection with the incident.

Authorities pointed out that the investigation is still in its early stages.

"Deputies and investigators on scene located drug paraphernalia and that's where they determine that this was a possible overdose, but the cause of death has yet to be determined," said Brito-Gonzalez.

Sheriff Chad Bianco said that, as of the end of October, there had been nearly 350 fentanyl-related deaths this year. In 2021, there were just over 400 -- a 200-fold increase from 2016.

Statistics published in May by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed there were roughly 108,000 fatal drug overdoses in 2021, and fentanyl poisoning accounted for over 80,000 of them.

"Law enforcement deals with this every single day and it seems to happen more often among adults, and we're seeing it now with your children," said Brito-Gonzalez. "I think people don't understand how potent this stuff is and these are the consequences."

City News Service, Inc. contributed to this report.

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