Coroner: String of deaths in Santa Rosa area may be linked to toxic heroin

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The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a spike in suspected heroin overdoses in Santa Rosa.

According to Sgt. Spencer Crum, there have been five deaths in the last 10 days. It is believed a bad batch of heroin is being distributed in Santa Rosa. The deaths have occurred across the city and across demographics.

“The heroin being sold in Santa Rosa is highly toxic,” Sgt. Crum said. “The last death was yesterday at a coffee shop. A person was found in a bathroom stall.”

The overdose happened at a Starbucks located at Coddingtown Mall and the victim, a man, was a transient. Two other transients, a man and woman, died in separate cases. Additionally, two Santa Rosa residents died in their own homes. Crum said all of the victims were between the ages of 27 and 66.

“It’s happening all over Santa Rosa,” Crum said. “We’ve had it to Santa Rosa Avenue, to Coddingtown Mall, to a residence. It’s all over Santa Rosa right now.”

Crum calls the bad batch of heroin very volatile and potentially toxic. Officials are conducting toxicology tests to figure out what is making it so potent and they’re urging the public to be cautious.

“This is very dangerous,” he added. “People are dying at an abnormally high rate and if you start overdosing they need to get emergency help as soon as they can.”